Many people closely guard information about themselves. This is a good idea, but there are times when someone may need to give out their personal information.
Identity theft is a serious matter now, especially because of the ease of doing certain things online. People are sometimes accused of identity theft even when they didn’t actually do anything wrong.
What actions constitute identity theft?
Identity theft involves the misrepresentation of facts in a way that makes others think you’re someone else. Criminal cases usually involve taking someone’s identity for financial gain or a similar reason. For example, using another person’s name, birthday, and Social Security number to obtain credit is considered identity theft. However, you can also catch identity theft charges for using someone else’s driver’s license, fraudulently changing someone’s mailing address and more.
New York law classifies identity theft as a misdemeanor in some cases, but there are some situations that are charged as a felony. Criminal impersonation in the first degree, for example, is a Class E felony in this state. Identity theft in the first degree and aggravated identity theft are both Class D felony charges.
If convicted, that means you could face incarceration, fines and restitution orders (financial payments to the victim in the case to repay them for any losses). You may also find it incredibly difficult to find employment after your conviction because of the stigma attached to this particular type of crime.
Anyone who’s facing charges for identity theft should understand how a conviction can impact them in the long term. This may shape the defense strategy that’s used against the charges. Make sure that you work with someone who’s familiar with charges like yours.