Pretending to be someone else is something that should only occur when you are a child who is playing make believe. When you are an adult, pretending to be someone else can be construed as a criminal act because of laws aimed at stopping identity fraud. If you have been accused of identity fraud and find yourself in front of a judge, you should be ready to defend yourself against those charges.
Identity theft crimes have to do with using someone else's information to deceive others or enjoy financial gain. This is done by using the other person's identifying information as your own. The identifying information can include the person's name, address, birth date, phone number, identification number, Social Security number and just about any other information.
In order for this type of situation to be considered identity theft, the person whose identity you used couldn't have known that you were using the information. This means that if you borrow another person's identification with that person's knowledge, you probably wouldn't face identity theft charges. You would likely face other criminal charges for providing false identification.
Generally, it doesn't matter where the identity theft occurred. Using someone's information on the internet would produce the same criminal charges as using the information in person. Each case could result in the same penalties.
If you are facing identity theft charges, your defense needs to be focused on disproving the elements that the prosecution is using to show that you committed the crime. You have to determine those points and find the ways that you can prove that they aren't factual.
Source: FindLaw, "Identity Theft," accessed Sep. 27, 2016