Identity Theft Defense Lawyers in Morris County NJ
Morristown NJ Identity Theft Defense Attorneys
Identity theft is a growing problem in New Jersey and across the United States as a whole. Individual’s charged with identity theft tend to find themselves facing other felony criminal charges as well like theft by deception, theft of moveable property, receiving stolen property or burglary. If you have been charged with identity theft in Morris County, in towns like Montville, Pequannock, Denville, Dover, Chatham, Madison or Rockaway, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall we have been representing Defendant’s charged with identity theft in Morris County for over a decade. If you would like to discuss your options with any one of the eight Morris County criminal defense lawyers on staff, please contact our Morristown Office at 973.309.7050. Now here is some key information on identity theft, including the applicable penalties if convicted.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17: Dover NJ Identity Theft Lawyers
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17, New Jersey’s criminal statute against Impersonation and Theft of Identity, proscribes five different types of conduct that are illegal. First, it is a crime to impersonate or assume a false identity and do an act in the assumed character or false identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another. It is also a crime to pretend to represent a person or organization and do an act in that capacity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit or injuring another. The third type of conduct that is criminalized under 2C:21-17 is impersonating another or assuming a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of another, in an oral or written application for services, for the purposes of obtaining services. Fourth, obtaining someone else’s personal identifying information (such as social security number, etc) without their consent for the purposes of receiving a benefit, attempting to receive a benefit, avoiding the payment of a debt or legal obligation, or avoiding criminal prosecution. The final type of conduct that is criminalized under this statute is impersonating another or assuming another person’s identity, in the course of making a written or oral application for services, with the purposes of avoiding payment for prior services.
What does the statute mean by “obtain a benefit”?
When the statute refers to “obtaining a benefit”, it means obtaining any property, any dollar amount, or any services. The statute also considers avoiding payment of any pecuniary amount as “obtaining a benefit”. Obtaining a benefit also includes acting for the purpose of injuring or harming another person.
What degree of crime is Impersonation or Identity Theft?
Impersonation or Identity Theft is a Crime of the Fourth Degree if the Defendant obtained a benefit or deprived another of a benefit of less than $500 and the offense only involves the identity of one victim. If the Defendant is being charged as a second or subsequent offender, the offense constitutes a Crime of the Third Degree. If the Defendant obtained a benefit or deprived another of a benefit in an amount between $500 and $75,000, OR if the offense involves the identity of between two and five victims, he or she is guilty of a Crime of the Third Degree. The Defendant is guilty of a Crime of the Second Degree if the benefit obtained or deprived to another is $75,000 or more, OR if the offense involves the identity of five or more victims.
Morris County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers
The fact that the degree of the crime is aggravated based upon the number of identities assumed or used means that crimes prosecuted under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17 can very easily become crimes of the Third or even Second Degree, exposing the Defendant to years in prison and large fines and restitution. If you or a loved one has been charged with the crime of Impersonation or Theft of Identity, it is crucial to obtain a lawyer that can protect your rights and keep you out of prison. The team of Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall includes former prosecutors who know the ins and outs of Impersonation and Identity Theft prosecutions. These experienced lawyers will work tirelessly to get you the best possible result when it is your day in court. Call our Morris County Criminal Defense Lawyers now at (973) 309-7050.