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Identity Theft Defense Attorneys in Belvidere NJ

Warren County NJ Lawyers for Identity Theft ChargesStealing someone’s identity, or using their information without their permission to commit an act, is a very serious crime in New Jersey. Identity theft is an indictable charge in New Jersey, meaning that it is a felony, and carries various degrees depending on the nature of the crime. There are many different actions that can lead to allegations of identity theft, such as impersonating another person, pretending to be a representative of an organization, or assuming a false identity. But the common element is acting to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another person. Regardless, accusations of identity theft can drastically impact your life. If you have been charged with identity theft of the fourth, third, or second degree in Stillwater, Allamuchy, Wantage, Mansfield, Pohatcong, Sparta, Franklin, or elsewhere in Sussex or Warren County, New Jersey, contact our criminal defense lawyers to begin defending your case. Contact us at 973-755-169 to learn more about the severity of identity theft in New Jersey and how our criminal attorneys can assist you. We provide free consultations 24/7.

Actions Constituting Identity Theft in New Jersey

New Jersey’s criminal statutes define identity theft in section N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17 which states that a person is guilty of identity theft if he or she (1) impersonates another person or assumes a false identity and acts to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another person; (2) pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and acts to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another person; (3) impersonates another person, assumes a false identity, or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person for the purpose of obtaining services; (4) obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and uses that information, without that person’s authorization, to fraudulently obtain a benefit or services; or (5) impersonates another person, assumes a false identity, or makes a false or misleading statement with the purpose of avoiding payment for prior services.

The common theme between all of the above types of identity theft is pretending to be someone you’re not to gain some form of benefit. In other words, a number of actions are classified as identity theft under New Jersey law. Examples include impersonating another to make a purchase, obtain a benefit, open an account, or commit fraud. This includes using someone’s credit card, social security information, or account information to obtain goods, benefits, protections, or services. Identity theft also includes using another’s information to apply for a program or obtain work or even using another’s information to avoid punishment.

New Jersey Identity Theft Charge Consequences

If you’re facing identity theft charges in the Superior Court in Sussex or Warren County, New Jersey there are serious consequences and it is imperative to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to develop your defense. In addition to restitution payable to the victim for all debts incurred by the victim as a result of the identity theft, a conviction for identity theft will result in a permanent criminal record as well as potential fines and jail time.

According to N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17, identity theft is an indictable offense that carries either fourth, third, or second degree penalties depending on the nature of the crime and the extent of financial damage done. The penalty for identity theft in New Jersey depends on either the amount of money or property that was stolen during the identity theft scheme or the number of victims involved. That is, identity theft is a second degree crime if the amount is $75,000 or more or the offense involves five or more victims, which is punishable by five to ten years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000; it is a third degree crime if the defendant gains between $500 and $75,000 or the offense involves at least two but less than five victims, which is punishable by three to five years of incarceration in prison and up to a $15,000 fine; and if the identity theft deals with less than $500 or involves one victim, it is a fourth degree crime punishable by eighteen months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Notably, identity theft is a felony crime in New Jersey except under one condition: the misrepresentation of age exception. In this case, a minor who falsifies information or uses someone else’s identity without consent in order to purchase alcohol or tobacco will not be charged with a felony identity theft offense in most cases.

Ways to Prove Identity Theft in NJ

Identity theft is proven by showing that one has used another’s personal and confidential information without their consent in order to obtain some benefit or commit fraud. In any case that a person has used another’s information without their consent, either to gain/steal something or avoid consequences, identity theft can be proven. If you can prove you had permission to use the information, on the other hand, you cannot be convicted of such a crime.

Explore Your Options if Falsely Accused of Identity Theft in New Jersey

Identity Theft Attorneys in Sussex County, NJThe first step to defending against an erroneous identity theft charge is connecting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accusation to help you develop a strong defense of your innocence. There are multiple defenses that can be used in an identity theft case, including that you had permission to use the card or information, you were wrongly identified as the person who committed the felony, law enforcement broke procedure or conducted an illegal search and seizure during your arrest, there is a lack of evidence proving your guilt in the alleged crime, or that you had no intent to commit fraud with the information in your possession.

Pretrial Intervention as an Alternative Option to Avoid an Identity Theft Conviction

If a person charged with identity theft of the fourth or third degree (even second degree in some cases) has never been convicted of a criminal offense before, nor have they completed Pretrial Intervention, and the judge deems the nature of the case to warrant eligibility, they will be able to engage in a Pretrial Intervention program. If they complete the terms of their PTI to their full extent, they can have their charge dismissed.

Requirements to File an Expungement for Identity Theft Charges

A person may seek expungement of their identity theft conviction after five years if they were convicted. On the other hand, a person who completes PTI and has their charges dismissed can file an expungement six months after completing the program.

Speak to Our Sussex County Identity Theft Defense Lawyers Today

Identity theft is a serious felony charge that carries steep penalties. The bottom line with identity theft charges in Sussex or Warren County is that a conviction can have far reaching consequences and impact the rest of your life. Depending on the nature of your crime and your criminal background, you could spend over a decade in jail and have a criminal record that follows far into your future. Prosecutors in identity theft cases usually seek the full extent of penalties to discourage a defendant from ever engaging in the activity again. For this reason, you should get in touch with our experienced criminal defense lawyers as soon as you learn about the accusations you’re facing.

Our legal team has decades of combined experience successfully representing defendants in Vernon, Phillipsburg, Hopatcong, Frankford Township, Newton, Hackettstown, Andover, and towns in Sussex County and Warren County, NJ. Our meticulous investigations and defense development have led to the acquittals and reduced sentences or pretrial intervention dismissals of countless individuals. Contact us today at 973-755-1695 for free and confidential consultation to discuss your case today.

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Our attorneys serve clients in Allamuchy, Andover, Belvidere, Frankford Township, Greenwich, Franklin Borough, Hackettstown, Hopatcong, Lopatcong Township, Newton, Mansfield Township, Sparta, North Warren, Vernon, Phillipsburg, Wantage, Pohatcong Township, Stillwater, Washington Borough, and throughout Sussex County and Warren County, New Jersey.


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