As the world moves to a more digital age where thousands of transactions take place online and on sites that may not be fully protecting the identity of the user, identity theft is on the rise. New York State has certain laws against identity theft, but it is also important to understand what information is included when discussing this offense and how the offenses apply. If you find yourself facing identity theft charges, reach out now to our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys to discuss your options.
The statutes involving identity theft use the term “personal identifying information” which means a variety of things. Date of birth, driver’s license number, bank account numbers, social security number or tax id number, place of employment, address and even name are considered to be a part of a persons personal identifying information. With the introduction of technology, passwords, electronic signatures, voice prints, retinal image and fingerprints are also included in the definition.
As for the statutes, identity theft in the third degree is when a person with intent to defraud knowingly assumes the identity of another person by presenting themselves as another person by using such personal identifying information and obtaining uses of credit, property, money, goods or services in the name of such person or acts in a way that causes financial loss. If they commit an act that is classified as a class A misdemeanor while assuming the identity of another person, they can also be charged with this section of the law. This offense is a class A misdemeanor which means a year in jail is possible if convicted.
The next highest charge, identity theft in the second degree, has four acts that are included that apply. If a person, under the identity of another, exceeds $500 in benefits or causes financial loss in the same amount, they would be charged with a class E felony. If, while assuming the identity of another, they attempt to commit or commit a felony or act as an accessory in such an offense, or if they have been previously convicted on identity theft in any degree in the previous five years, this charge also applies. A few other offenses are listed as wall, such as unlawful possession of personal identification information, grand larceny, and unlawful possession of a skimmer device.
Identity theft in the first degree is the highest charge and most serious as a class D felony charge. This applies when the benefit or financial loss received under the identity of another person is over $2,000. Also, if under the assumed identity, they attempt to commit or commit a class D felony or higher, or act as an accessory in such an offense this charge will apply. Additionally, if a person under the identity of another commits identity theft in the second degree and have been previously convicted of the offenses listed in the previous paragraph in the past five years, they will be charged with identity theft in the first degree.
Identity theft as a whole is a serious charge and should not be taken lightly, and neither should the choice of your attorney representation. Our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys are ready to take your call to discuss whatever charges you are facing and begin working on your case.