What to do if my father is falsely accusing me and my wife of ID theft?

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What to do if my father is falsely accusing me and my wife of ID theft?

My father is falsely accusing me and my wife of ID theft. We cared for him for several years and during that time he got several credit cards and put my wife as authorized user; he also put her on his bank account and as an account manager on a cell phone account. Recently he and I had a falling out due to his excessive drinking and his actions while he is drunk. I told him that he had to move out. A few months after he left, a detective came to my house and asked for a statement from me and my wife because my father is now claiming fraud and ID theft but only on the cards with outstanding balances. He is not claiming fraud on the bank account.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) First, to defend yourselves, a) get an attorney to represent you--you need legal counsel when accused of what could be a felony; b) organize or marshall any evidence that this did not happen; and c) do not speak to the authorities (e.g. police) until and unless you talk to your lawyer. (Remember: you have a constitutional "right to silence.")

2) If the accusations are false, you may be able to sue your father for defamation and/or for malicious prosecution--you should discuss these options with your attorney, too. Since you may have legal claims against your father, even if there have not yet been charges or arrests against  you or your wife, it's still worthwhile consulting with an attorney.


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