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New Jersey Identity Theft Lawyer

If you use personal information obtained without the rightful owner’s permission, or help another person use it, to assume that person’s identity, you can be charged with identity theft.

If you or a loved one are facing identity theft charges, make sure to get in touch with a New Jersey identity theft lawyer who could work to ensure your rights are protected. Speak with a qualified fraud attorney who could try to mitigate the charges as much as possible.

What is Identity Theft?

In New Jersey, identity theft is defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17 as when someone impersonates another person or assumes a false identity for the purpose of committing fraud or a crime, or in order to obtain a benefit or service.

This is done by someone using another’s name, social security number, or credit card number without the rightful owner’s explicit permission. Identity theft also applies to misleading or false statements on an oral or written application for services.

It is illegal for a person to pretend to be someone else—or use someone else’s personal information—to receive a benefit that they would otherwise not be entitled to, to harm someone, or to avoid having to pay for a service that they will receive or have already received.

Examples of Identity Theft

A common example of identity theft would be using a false or stolen ID to get into a bar—in other words, pretending to be someone else in order to obtain alcohol that would otherwise be inaccessible. Someone caught using a fake ID can be charged with identity theft.

Identity Theft Statistics

According to Javelin Strategy & Research, a research-based advisory firm, identity theft in the U.S. soared in 2016 as approximately 15.4 million consumers—or 1 in every 16 adults—were affected, up from 13.1 million in 2015.

Potential Penalties for an Identity Theft Conviction

The penalty incurred by an identity theft conviction can depend on the value of the benefit or deprivation that resulted from the criminal act.

Second-Degree Identity Theft Convictions

An individual can be guilty of a second-degree crime if they obtained a benefit or caused the deprivation of a benefit worth $75,000 or more, or if they stole the identities of five or more people. A second-degree crime in New Jersey can result in a jail term of five to ten years. For valuations between $500 and $75,000, identity theft is charged with a third-degree crime.

Fourth-Degree Identity Theft Convictions

Someone may be charged with identity theft in the fourth-degree if they obtained a benefit or caused the deprivation of a benefit worth less than $500, punishable by a maximum potential jail term of 18 months. However, second-offense identity theft charges of any severity can be classified as a third-degree crime. A New Jersey identity theft lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

How a New Jersey Identity Theft Attorney Could Help

If you steal someone’s identity in order to receive a benefit for yourself or you harm someone else, you can be convicted of a serious crime in New Jersey. You might go to jail, be charged a significant amount in fines, and have the charge on your permanent criminal record.

Contact a New Jersey identity theft lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your specific situation. A qualified attorney could represent you during this critically important time, and work to ensure a positive outcome to your case.