Identity theft and fraud is not a new crime in the State of New York, but the number of people committing identity theft and fraud or similar fraud offenses is rising each year. Our team at Koch Law sees a similar rise in the number of arrests for identity theft and fraud. The reason behind this substantial increase in identity crimes is the increased number of ways and opportunities to commit fraud offenses.
Now, more than ever an individual isn’t just a risk for being a victim of identity theft and fraud, but also being charged with this type of fraud. Your actions online, at work, and in the use of another individual’s credit card or personal information could lead to serious charges of fraud and criminal activity.
Understanding Identity Theft and Fraud in New York City
Identity theft and fraud is the intentional or deliberate use of another person’s identity and personal information to complete transactions, make purchases, obtain an unfair advantage, or commit a crime. In many cases, but not always, identity theft and fraud cause a detriment or loss to the person whose identity was assumed.
While New York City identity theft and fraud cases can vary widely in terms of circumstances and fact pattern, each is a serious offense. Hiring New York City defense counsel can be a huge asset in fighting the charges.
Identity theft and fraud are commonly utilized to commit other crimes, such as:
It is possible that when identity theft and fraud is part of the commission of these crimes, a defendant will be charged with multiple offenses. At Koch law, our New York City defense counsel for identity theft and fraud is knowledgeable and experienced in these other areas of criminal law. This wide range of knowledge allows our skilled team to handle the entirety of your case in a single, strategic defense.
Law on Crimes Involving Identity Theft and Fraud
The New York Penal Law contains several different statutes criminalizing actions of fraud and forgery. These laws cover fraud against insurance companies, state health care programs, residential mortgage lenders, and creditors. Further, there is an entire subset of fraud statues dedicated to computer fraud, such as cyber extortion and online phishing scams. Often, a New York City identity theft and fraud lawyer also handles cases involving these other types of fraud.
Identity theft is one of several offenses under New York laws that involve the fraudulent acquisition and fraudulent use of personal information. Identity theft can be charged in either the first, second, or third degree or as a more serious, aggravated offense.
All degrees of identity theft requires that the defendant knowingly and with the intent to defraud assumed the identity of another person. The difference in these charges is based on the severity of damages or loss to the victim of identity theft.
- Identity theft in the third degree – when a false identity is used to obtain goods, money, or services, to the detriment of another person or used to commit a class A misdemeanor.
- Identity theft in the second degree – when a false identity is used to obtain goods, money, or services and the value or detriment to another person exceeds $500 or used to commit a class E felony.
- Identity theft in the first degree – when a false identity is used to obtain goods, money, or services and the value or detriment to another person exceeds $2,000 or used to commit a class D felony or higher.
- Aggravated identity theft – when the false identity assumed by the victim is a member of the armed services, who is the deployed abroad, and the defendant knows the victim is a deployed member of the armed services and the false identity is used to obtain goods, money, or services in excess of $500.
Defending New York City Identity Theft Charges
It is crucial that an experienced NY criminal lawyer handles your defense to identity theft and fraud charges. Identity theft in the second degree, identity theft in the first degree, and aggravated identity theft are all felony offenses in New York that could lead to a lengthy jail sentence. Plus, the long-term repercussions of a fraud offense on your criminal record are serious.
If you are charged with identity theft and fraud or under investigation for a fraud offense, now is the time to contact the knowledgeable NY defense counsel at Koch Law.