Impersonation and Identity Theft Defense Attorneys in NJ

Identity theft and/or impersonation charges are covered under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17 of the New Jersey legislature, which makes it illegal for an individual to conduct any one of a number of different acts. Recent legislative enactments have been enacted in an effort to curb the increase in computer crimes prevalent in our technology-driven. Crimes like identity theft, committed through cyber account hacking, are relatively new developments in law enforcement.

A conviction under this statute will result in a criminal record of indictable (felony) charges and land you in prison for up to twenty (20) years.

New Jersey ‘Impersonation of Another’ Charges

Under certain circumstances it is an offense to impersonate another or assume a false identity. In 2014, the Legislature clarified that criminal impersonation includes electronic communication or internet website. The purpose of the impersonation must be to obtain a benefit for himself or another, or to injure or defraud another. Benefit means, but is not limited to, any property, any pecuniary amount, any services, any pecuniary amount sought to be avoided or any injury or harm perpetrated on another where there is no pecuniary value. Obtaining access to a third party’s online account ad subsequently making unauthorized purchases or withdrawals would qualify as impersonation of another.

‘Theft of Cyber-Services’ Charges in New Jersey

It is an offense to impersonate another or assume a false identity if the purpose of the impersonation is to obtain services. The defendant must impersonate another, assume a false identity or make a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person, in an oral or written application for services, for the purpose of obtaining services.

‘Theft of Personal Identifying Information’ Defense Lawyers

This is the most common form of identity theft related cyber-crime. Major account hacking efforts, like the one done on Target and there customers, is a prime example of this. Under this portion of the statute, it is illegal to obtain any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and use that information or assist another person in using the information (i.e. selling the information on the black market).

“Personal identifying information” means any name, number or other information that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual and includes, but is not limited to, the name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, official State issued identification number, employer or taxpayer number, place of employment, employee identification number, demand deposit account number, savings account number, credit card number, mother’s maiden name, unique biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image or other unique physical representation, or unique electronic identification number, address or routing code of the individual.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a cyber-related identity theft or impersonation charge, it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your options. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us toll free, 24/7, at 1 (800) 879-9087, or live chat with us, below.

Will I be Forced to Pay Restitution if Convicted or Pleading Guilty to Identity Theft Charges?

Most likely. Restitution to a victim of identity theft when the offense concerns personal identifying information typically include costs incurred by the victim in clearing the credit history or credit rating of the victim, along with costs incurred by the victim in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien or other obligation of the victim arising as a result of the actions of the defendant.

What degree is an Identity Theft charge in New Jersey?

Identity Theft is an indictable offense (often referred to as a felony in other states) in New Jersey. If the defendant obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in an amount less than $500 and the offense involves the identity of one victim, the defendant is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

For a second or subsequent offense in which the defendant obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in an amount less than $500 and the offense involves the identity of one victim, it is a third degree crime.Conversely, if the defendant obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in an amount of at least $500 but less than $75,000 and it is a first offense, then it is a crime of the third degree. It is also a crime of third degree if the offense involves the identity of at least two (2) but less than five victims.

Lastly, but most severely, if the defendant obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in the amount of $75,000 or more it is a second degree crime. It is also, a second degree crime if the offense involves the identity of five or more victims. If convicted of a second degree offense, you will be facing up to ten (10) years in a State penitentiary.