It’s been over 2 years now since Robert Bryant discovered he was to appear in court for a DWI in Grain Valley even though he had never been arrested for DWI and certainly not in Grain Valley – he’s pretty sure he would have remembered.
Turns out he had been a victim of ID theft and the real person who had been arrested for drink driving had given Bryant’s details and set him up as the criminal.
Luckily for Bryant the resulting mugshot proved he was in fact the victim of ID theft and wasn’t the man arrested but his problems didn’t end there.
Months later a Missouri law firm began chasing him for $11,000 in damages. They had his name, SSN, address details and when he asked where they had got all his personal information from they dropped the bombshell that he had been involved in an accident on 40 highway in Independence, Missouri.
“They started reading off all my personal information, my drivers license and social security number, and I’m like how did you get this information? They said you were in an accident on 40 highway in Independence, Missouri,” Bryant told Fox4 News.
A little more digging and he then discovers there are 2 more warrants out for his arrest. The criminal who had been involved in the accident had provided Bryant’s name and address yet again at the scene of an accident and as there is no law that requires someone to produce any ID when asked to identify themselves by the police, the officer had to accept the criminal was telling the truth.
Bryant had covinced the prosecuters that it was a case of ID theft and they dropped the case soon after. Unfortunately the law firm weren’t so easily convinced and continued to hound Mr. Bryant for damages until eventually he was forced to hire his own lawyer who got the lawsuit dropped – seems lawyers believe lawyers.
Robert Bryant now carries special papers that prove he has been the victim of ID theft. If he should ever be pulled over or actually be involved in an accident without those papers, then he would almost certainly find himself locked up on an outstanding warrant or two.
Joe says: A case that shows just how the long term effects of ID theft can keep coming back at you for years. It’s not just a case of having to close your bank accounts and cancel your cards, someone can be out there ruining your good name for years to come.
While there may not be a law in Missouri requiring a person to produce identification to the police, giving false details is classed as forgery and that’s a felony. Of course, if the criminal knows there are outstanding warrants for them and they are going to prison if they provide their real details they are likely to provide false information.
I believe in most states a driver is required to produce a drivers license if so asked by a police officer.
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