Identity theft has been a crime for decades, but the advent of the Internet has brought about more instances of this crime than ever before. The reason is obviously greater access to this information, as millions of people enter sensitive and private information over the Internet every day, and most do not really know how this information is stored, where it goes, who has access to it or who could possibly gain access to it for illegal purposes.
As a result, New York has passed a litany of statutes that deal with identity theft, and a few of them are offered as examples below. In the meantime, if you are facing a potential problem with the government based on alleged identity theft, contact our attorneys as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation.
New York Identity Theft Statutes
The New York statutes identify the foundational basis for identity theft as follows:
“A person is guilty of identity theft in the third degree when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud assumes the identity of another person by presenting himself or herself as that other person, or by acting as that other person or by using personal identifying information of that other person, and thereby:”
The clauses that follow the last word are different in each specific statute as the legislature attempts to define degrees of culpability. For instance, certain types of conduct would be considered a Class A misdemeanor, while others would be considered either a Class E or a Class D felony.
The distinctions that appear in the statutes that define the severity center on two things:
- The amount of goods or property illegally taken; and
- The defendant’s prior conviction record.
Basically, if a person steals $500 or less, he or she will be charged with a misdemeanor if it’s his or her first offense. If it’s more than $500, it would be a Class E felony, and if it’s more than $2,000 it would be considered a Class D felony.
There are other statutes, such as those that make it a crime to simply possess someone else’s information, but the bottom line is that if a person is convicted of this crime, he or she faces harsh remedies as a result, including fines, restitution and incarceration.
If you have been accused of identity theft, you need to take action and contact the Blanch Law Firm of New York as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation.