Hackensack NJ Identity Theft Defense Attorneys
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Bergen County, New Jersey
Identity theft typically occurs when a person uses someone else’s personal information in order to benefit financially. With today’s computer era making it easier and easier to access information, identity theft has become an extremely popular crime. These days, it is not uncommon for people to do their shopping and even their banking online. In recognition of people’s increasing dependence on the Internet, the penalties for identity theft in New Jersey can be severe. Depending on the circumstances, identity theft is punishable by a term of incarceration of up to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison, in addition to other penalties outlined below.
The Tormey Law firm is trial team of aggressive criminal defense lawyers, including an active New Jersey prosecutor. We have extensive experience handling theft crime charges, including identity theft, forgery, and credit card fraud throughout New Jersey, including in Hackensack, Paramus, and East Rutherford. Call us today at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation, and continue reading this page for more information on identity theft charges in New Jersey.
Identity Theft Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17
Identity theft in New Jersey is codified in N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17, which provides in pertinent part that a person is guilty of identity theft if he or she:
(1) Impersonates another person or assumes a false identity and acts to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another person;
(2) Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and acts to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another person;
(3) Impersonates another person, assumes a false identity, or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person for the purpose of obtaining services;
(4) Obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and uses that information, without that person’s authorization, to fraudulently obtain a benefit or services; or
(5) Impersonates another person, assumes a false identity, or makes a false or misleading statement with the purpose of avoiding payment for prior services.
Penalties for Identity Theft in New Jersey
Identity theft, which is basically wrongfully impersonating someone to gain a benefit, is also classified as theft, the degree of which is determined by amount. As the above statute indicates, the circumstances giving rise to an identity theft charge vary. The penalties for identity theft are determined by the amount stolen and the number of victims. This is because these kinds of cases often involve large operations with many victims. At the most severe level, it is a second degree crime if the amount stolen using someone else’s social security number or other identifying information to obtain credit cards or purchase cars, for example, is over $75,000.00, or the defendant stole five or more people’s identities. This range goes all the way down to a disorderly persons offense if the amount is nominal. The critical factor is the victim’s losses, so that if a defendant is charged with theft of someone’s social security number and driver’s license to finance a new car but pays down the loan, the sentence for the theft may be less than if the defendant impersonated another to obtain the loan and then defaulted on it. The following outlines the amount, degrees, and punishments for identity theft offenses:
Second Degree Identity Theft: If a person steals someone else’s identity and obtains a benefit in the amount of $75,000.00 or more, or the offense involves the identity of five (5) or more victims, it is a second degree crime. This charge is punishable by a period of incarceration of between five (5) and ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison.
Third Degree Identity Theft: If a person obtains between $500.00 and $75,000.00, or the offense involves the identity of at least two (2) but less than five (5) victims, it is third degree crime. A conviction on this charge can result in a period of incarceration of between three (3) and five (5) years in state prison.
Fourth Degree Identity Theft: If the perpetrator obtains less than $500.00 and the offense involves the identity of just one (1) victim, it is a fourth degree crime. This charge is punishable by up to 18 months in prison.
Additionally, New Jersey law requires a person convicted of identity theft to pay restitution to the victim, including all debts incurred by the victim as a direct result of the identity theft (e.g., the cost of repairing the victim’s credit).
Call The Tormey Law Firm for a Free Consultation about your Identity Theft Charges
If you have been charged with identity theft in New Jersey, you will want to speak with an experienced attorney who handles these kinds of cases on a regular basis. Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise necessary to combat these allegations. Call us today at (201)-330-4979 so that we can begin evaluating your case and assist you in determining the best course of action.