In today’s digital age, the risk of identity theft looms more prominent than ever. There are many types of identity theft, but all are illegal. You could face harsh repercussions if convicted of identity theft in New Jersey. There are several ways to defend yourself from prosecution, and the first step is contacting an identity theft attorney.
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a New Jersey law firm focusing on criminal defense. We offer aggressive legal representation with the intent of keeping our clients out of the criminal justice system. We handle many criminal defense cases, including identity theft, domestic violence, sex crimes, drunk driving, and traffic violations. You deserve a lawyer who is a dedicated fighter with an understanding of the complex nature of criminal and aggravated identity theft. Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law to discuss your case at no charge.
What Is Identity Theft?
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, identity theft occurs when someone uses another’s personal information without permission, typically for financial gain. While you might think only about someone stealing credit cards, identity theft extends to every facet of someone’s existence. Identity theft can range from financial and medical thefts to fraudulent tax refunds and stealing a child’s personal information.
In New Jersey, identity theft falls under the Wrongful Impersonation statute. This statute declares it is illegal to pretend to be someone else, assume a false identity, or use another individual’s data. You cannot use someone’s personal information for financial gain, goods, services, medical care, tax refunds, or to evade debts or criminal prosecution.
The severity of New Jersey’s Wrongful Impersonation can vary from a disorderly person’s offense to a 2nd-degree indictable offense when five or more identities acquire benefits or services valued at $75,000 or more or when the crime involves five or more identities.
Financial Identity Theft
Financial identity theft is a type of identity fraud where an unauthorized individual uses another person’s bank account details, credit card numbers, or Social Security information for monetary gain. Beyond the immediate economic loss, financial identity theft can lead to long-lasting consequences, including a worsened credit score.
The most straightforward example of financial identity theft is when a thief uses someone else’s credit or debit card information to make unauthorized purchases. This can happen through physical card theft or via digital means like hacking.
This criminal identity theft can involve siphoning off funds, making unauthorized transfers, or even modifying account settings to lock out the actual owner.
Loans and Lines of Credit
Another dangerous aspect of financial identity theft is the unauthorized opening of new lines of credit or loans in the victim’s name. Financial identity theft can severely damage the victim’s credit score, as the thief usually does not intend to repay the borrowed amounts.
Fraudulent Tax Refunds
Using stolen personal information, tax identity thieves can also file fraudulent tax returns in the victim’s name, directing the refund to their own accounts.
Medical Identity Theft
Medical identity theft description: This crime occurs when someone uses another person’s name and health insurance information to receive medical care, prescription drugs, or surgery. It can also involve falsifying medical billings for monetary gain. The perpetrator might be an individual seeking care they can’t afford or don’t want to pay for. Medical identity theft can also be part of a larger fraudulent scheme by unscrupulous healthcare providers or others in the medical field.
Obtaining prescriptions for controlled substances, like oxycontin, is a common reason for medical identity theft. If you face a medical identity crime conviction, you could receive state or federal consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and a permanent felony record.
Criminal Identity Theft
What is criminal identity theft? When you give the police another person’s name during an arrest, you commit criminal identity theft. Beyond the original reason for your arrest or investigation, you could face additional charges, such as:
- Providing false information to the police
- Obstructing justice
- Impeding an investigation
Social Security Identity Theft
We put our Social Security number on insurance claims, tax returns, and other legal documents. Social Security numbers allow Americans to apply for and receive many benefits, including disability payments. Victims may suffer extensive legal and financial losses if someone acquires a Social Security number for nefarious intent.
Tax Identity Theft
What is tax identity theft? Tax identity theft explicitly targets the misuse of Social Security numbers for filing fraudulent tax returns to claim bogus refunds.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Synthetic identity theft occurs when a real person’s Social Security number is stolen and used to create a fraudulent new identity. Another form of synthetic identity theft is using a deceased person’s Social Security number to support a fictitious identity.
Child Identity Theft
Child identity theft description: This crime happens when someone uses the personal information of a minor under 18 to commit fraud. A child’s personal information appeals to thieves because minors have a clean credit slate and usually do not have a credit agency or financial institution monitoring their account activity. Thieves use a child’s identity to apply for lines of credit for purchases, cash, or mortgages.
Some cases of child identity theft remain undetected until the victim becomes an adult and engages in financial or legal activities.
Taking over a child’s identity carries the same legal consequences as assuming an adult’s.
Accused of Identity Theft? Contact Our New Jersey Defense Attorneys
Facing identity theft charges is not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in. The penalties for identity theft, especially aggravated identity theft, can include hefty fines and prolonged incarceration.
If you face potential prosecution for identity theft, it’s crucial to act swiftly. A New Jersey identity theft lawyer can make a vast difference in the outcome of your case. Keith Oliver Criminal Law understands the complexities of criminal, medical, financial, and aggravated identity theft. We can examine the evidence, assess the prosecution’s case, and build a robust defense for you.
Do not agree to a police interview without invoking your constitutional right to remain silent and request an attorney. Contact our attorneys for identity theft for help with identity theft charges in New Jersey. Reach out today for your free consultation.