Identity Theft Law
New Jersey Identity Theft Attorney
Have you been accused of Identity Theft or Identity Fraud in New Jersey? A charge of Identity Theft can result from any number of acts, like the use of a friend’s telephone calling card, a stranger’s social security card or credit card number, or from using information to completely assume someone else’s identity. But whether your charge results from an isolated incident or a long term fraudulent act, if you’ve been accused of Identity Theft in New Jersey, you need a New Jersey Identity Theft Attorney. My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Fraud Lawyer, former prosecutor and current public defender and partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo. If you have been charged with Identity Theft or Identity Fraud in New Jersey, contact me today at 908-643-6801 for a free initial consultation, and let’s get started on your defense. With over 35 years of criminal trial experience, I know which defenses will work for you, and I am ready to aggressively defend your rights. Our firm defends individuals throughout New Jersey including the counties of Monmouth, Union, Mercer, Ocean, Essex, Hudson, and Middlesex.
New Jersey Identity Theft Law
There are many different ways to commit Identity Theft, and the type of charge that results from Identity Theft depends on the circumstances surrounding how the act was committed. They are divided between whether the act will result in a disorderly persons offense which is a less serious charge or whether the act will result in a crime, which is more serious. To view the entire New Jersey Statute governing Identity Theft see N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17.
A person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if the person:
- Impersonates another or assumes a false identity and does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another; or
- Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another; or
- Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person, in an oral or written application for services, for the purpose of obtaining services; or
- Obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and uses that information, or assists another person in using the information, in order to assume the identity of or represent himself as another person, without that person’s authorization and with the purpose to fraudulently obtain or attempt to obtain a benefit or services, or avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation or avoid prosecution for a crime by using the name of the other person; or
- Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement, in the course of making an oral or written application for services, with the purpose of avoiding payment for prior services. Purpose to avoid payment for prior services may be presumed upon proof that the person has not made full payment for prior services and has impersonated another, assumed a false identity or made a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person in the course of making oral or written application for services.
Upgrading the Crime
Thus, if you commit one of the acts above, you will be guilty of a disorderly persons offense. However, under certain circumstances, the offense may be upgraded to a crime of the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Degree. The following explanation is an example of which actions when committed in addition to the acts listed above will turn your offense into a crime.
4th Degree Crime
You will have committed a 4th Degree crime if you commit the disorderly persons offense of Identity Fraud and in addition:
- The Benefit/Deprivation is less than $500; and
- The Fraud is on 1 person.
- Except that a subsequent conviction is a 3rd Degree Crime
3rd Degree Crime
You will have committed a 3rd Degree crime if you commit the disorderly persons offense of Identity Fraud and in addition:
- The Benefit/Deprivation is $500 or more, but less than $75,000; or
- The Fraud is on 2 to 4 people.
2nd Degree Crime
You will have committed a 2nd Degree crime if you commit the disorderly persons offense of Identity Fraud and in addition:
- The Benefit/Deprivation is $75,000 or more; or
- The Fraud is on 5 or more people.
In addition to the way above in which an Identity Theft Offense can be upgraded to a 2nd Degree Crime, if you commit the following act, it will also constitute a 2nd Degree Crime.
- A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if, in obtaining or attempting to obtain a driver’s license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency which could be used as a means of verifying a person’s identity, age or any other personal identifying information, that person knowingly exhibits, displays or utters a document or other writing which falsely purports to be a driver’s license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency or which belongs or pertains to a person other than the person who possesses the document.
There is an exception to these rules when a person uses another person’s ID information to buy alcohol, tobacco or something else denied to persons under 18. As long as the purchase of those items was the only thing the ID was used for, it is not considered ID Theft.
Penalties if Convicted
The following sets out the penalties that attach when a person is convicted of Identity Theft or Identity Fraud. An experienced New Jersey Identity Theft Attorney will be able to help you understand the penalties you are facing, and most importantly, your New Jersey Fraud Lawyer can help you devise an aggressive defense against the charges.
disorderly persons offense
- Up to 6 months in prison
4th Degree Crime
- Up to 18 months in prison
3rd Degree Crime
- 3 to 5 years in prison
2nd Degree Crime
- 5 to 10 years in prison
What is Restitution?
In addition to the above penalties, you must pay ‘restitution’ to the victim. This means that you must pay certain costs that the victim incurred as a result of the Identity Fraud. These costs are as follows. If you are convicted of Identity Theft, you must pay the victim the cost
- To clear his credit history or credit rating; or
- Any costs in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising as a result of your actions.
If you are being investigated for Identity Theft or Fraud committed over the internet, your rights need protection now. Do not wait until you are formally charged to call a New Jersey Identity Theft attorney and do not talk to the police. Don’t wait until harmful information is collected against you to call a New Jersey Fraud Lawyer. Contact me today at 908-643-6801 , for a free initial consultation and let a former prosecutor and current public defender protect your rights.
Identity theft is a crime in the state of New Jersey. Both Identity Theft and Identity Fraud refer to many different crimes in which a person obtains and uses another person’s personal information in a fraudulent or deceptive way. An experienced New Jersey Identity Theft Attorney will be able to help you understand the crime you’ve committed and the charges against you. Most importantly, your New Jersey Fraud Lawyer will help you devise an aggressive defense against the charges.
As an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney with over 35 years of experience, I will give you an honest assessment of the charges against you, possible defenses, and probable outcome of your case. In addition, I offer every client a free initial consultation, call 908-643-6801 to discuss how to proceed with your identity theft charges.