Our Former Prosecutors & Highly Skilled Attorneys Have Over 200 Years of Combined Experience Defending Identity Theft Charges Throughout New Jersey
Identity theft is a fairly common offense for our New Jersey criminal attorneys. While the largest number of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17 cases we handle are associated with credit card fraud, there are certainly many more scenarios where someone is charged with theft of personal information or impersonation of another person. The key for anyone facing this offense in Hudson County, Morris County, Bergen County, Camden County, Burlington County or elsewhere in NJ, is to secure representation from an experienced lawyer immediately since this variety of theft crime is a felony that can land you in prison for many years.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a team of former county prosecutors and accomplished lawyers that possess over 200 years in practice combined. We know the law and how to effectively defend a New Jersey identity theft case since we have handled countless charges of this nature over the last decade or two. Whether you were arrested because you fraudulently obtained a driver’s license, used someone else’s credit card and/or posed as another person in any other context, we have the knowledge and bona fide qualifications to help you.
You are encouraged to contact us at 1-877-328-0980 for a free consultation with a lawyer at the firm anytime 24/7. There is no reason to hesitate in getting the advice you need since initial consultations are free.
Identity Theft in New Jersey
The primary law to consider when someone is charged with identity theft in New Jersey is N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17. It is a crime of either the fourth degree, third degree or second degree under this statute to:
- Impersonate another person to obtain a benefit or commit a fraud
- Pose as a representative of a person or entity to obtain a benefit or commit a fraud
- Impersonates another to obtain services
- Obtain the personal information of another person or to conspire to obtain or use the personal information of another person to fraudulently obtain a benefit or service, avoid payment of a debt or obligation, or avoid prosecution
- Impersonate another person in an application for services so that payment may be avoided
It is a fourth-degree crime when someone impersonates another or uses personal information to obtain a benefit of less than $500. The same conduct is enhanced to a third-degree crime if it is the second or subsequent conviction for this grade of identity theft. An individual also commits third-degree identity theft if they derive a benefit of at least $500 but less than $75,000, or their conduct involves at least two (2) but less than five (5) victims. Second-degree identity theft arises where the benefit derived from the fraud is $75,000 or more, or where there are five (5) or more victims.
Misrepresentation of Age Exception. There is an exception to prosecution for identity theft that applies when the impersonation involves misrepresentation of an individual’s age to illegally purchase an alcoholic beverage or tobacco.
The headings below discuss some of the more frequently encountered questions raised by individuals arrested for identity theft.
What Are The Penalties For Identity Theft?
The penalties that may be imposed by a superior court judge in Jersey City, Camden, Somerville, Mount Holly, Mays Landing, Morristown, Hackensack or another venue hinges on the degree of identity theft committed. For a fourth-degree identity theft offense an individual faces up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. A conviction for a third-degree crime under 2C:21-17 carries up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. The most serious grade of identity theft is a second-degree crime and exposes a defendant to 5-10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000. An individual is also required to pay restitution at the time of sentencing including, but not limited to, reimbursing the victim for the cost of clearing his/her credit and correcting any official records or documents.
Can Pretrial Intervention Be Used To Avoid A Conviction?
New Jersey has adopted a diversionary program commonly known as Pretrial Intervention or “PTI.” This program allows an individual to avoid a criminal conviction for fourth-degree or third-degree identity theft provided they have no prior record and have never taken a diversion previously, and successfully complete a period of probation.
Are There Immigration Consequences If Someone Is Charged With Identity Theft?
A person arrested for identity theft is particularly vulnerable if they lack citizenship. Federal immigration law treats identity theft as a crime involving moral turpitude and, in some cases, even an aggravated felony. What this means is that you can have your Visa or Green Card revoked and be subject to removal proceedings if you are convicted of identity theft. Hiring an attorney who is highly skilled is an absolute must for someone faced with this dilemma.
What Is The Statute of Limitations For Filing A New Jersey Identity Theft Charge?
The statute of limitation is five (5) years for a fourth-degree, third-degree or second-degree crime. What this means is that an indictment or criminal complaint for identity theft must be filed within five (5) years of commission of the fraud or it is time barred.
Can A Criminal Record For Identity Theft Be Expunged?
An individual may secure an expungement of one and only one indictable crime like identity theft. There is a five (5) year waiting period that must be satisfied before someone is eligible to have a conviction removed from his/her record.
Helpful Resources To Further Assist You
Identity Theft Lawyers in New Jersey
An identity theft offense is a serious matter that requires your attention. Your best course of action to ensure that penalties and collateral consequences of a conviction are minimized is to retain an attorney who is skilled in defending 2C:21-17 charges. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have centuries of combined experience representing clients arrested for charges like theft by deception, credit card fraud and identity theft in New Jersey. You can obtain a free consultation with one of the attorneys at the firm by calling 1-877-328-0980. A lawyer is ready to help you now.