With the rise of advanced technology, identity theft has become one of the most common crimes individuals commit today. A person can quickly go through someone else’s trash bins or use technology to obtain an individual’s personal and financial information to use for their benefit unlawfully. Although this may not seem like a serious crime, it is punished harshly in New Jersey, as identity theft can cripple an individuals life. If you have been accused of identity theft, you need a skilled Bergen County Criminal Defense Attorney to defend your rights and interests. Please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for identity theft in New Jersey.
What is identity theft in New Jersey?
Identity theft is a type of fraud that occurs when another person steals someone else’s personal identifying information, such as their name or social security number, without their consent to obtain money. Essentially, it is when an individual uses another person’s identity to commit fraud, like making unauthorized transactions, opening credit accounts, filing tax returns, or making health insurance claims without your permission. Unfortunately, identity theft can be committed in several different ways. In New Jersey, you can be charged with identity theft if you pretend to be someone else, use someone else’s personal information as your own, or steal someone else’s information to get a benefit or to harm another person.
What are the potential penalties?
As mentioned above, identity theft carries harsh penalties as it is illegal to masquerade as someone else to obtain a monetary benefit or harm another individual. Therefore, the severity of your penalties will depend on the economic value of the benefit or deprivation the crime causes.
- Fourth degree: If you obtained a benefit or deprived another person of less than $500, you could be subject to 18 months of jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-degree: If you obtained a benefit or deprived another person of an amount that is more than $500 but less than $75,000, or there are two to four victims, you could be subject to five years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Second-degree: If you obtained a benefit or deprived another person of $75,000 or more, or there are five or more victims, you could be subject to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $150,000.
A conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines, and the court may even order that you pay restitution for the victim’s losses. This can include their legal fees and expenses for clearing their credit histories.
Identity theft is a grave offense that can result in severe financial loss. Consequently, you will face severe penalties that negatively impact your life. To maximize your chances of avoiding harsh penalties, contact a determined Bergen County criminal defense attorney from The Law Office of Carl Spector, who will do everything possible to protect your future.