Identity theft has become an increasingly popular crime in recent years, yet few people have a clear command of what this offense involves.
One of the more effective ways to build a defense against the crime that you’ve been charged with is to learn more about what the offense entails. Learn more about identity theft by reading the primer on this white-collar crime below.
How is identity theft defined?
The use of deception or fraud to secure something that may lead you to enjoy some type of financial gain is the more formal description of this crime. It can include things like using someone else’s credit card without their permission and pretending to be someone else to use their insurance at the doctor’s office.
How does identity theft happen?
Identity theft involves some of the acts that you might have heard about on the news in recent years. When this first emerged a few decades ago, it mostly involved someone combing through another’s trash to secure their credit card or Social Security numbers and then using that information to receive government benefits or set up accounts using that information.
Nowadays, those tactics are still employed; however, the methods for procuring that information have changed. Individuals wishing to procure this information need only to hack into a computer, call an unsuspecting or gullible elderly person or make someone think that an online form soliciting private data is authoritative to get someone’s information and do them some significant financial harm.
Many individuals who end up being arrested on identity theft charges also face larceny or other theft charges or mail or wire fraud.
What happens if you’re convicted of identity theft?
Both New York and federal laws make it illegal for someone to engage in identity theft. Anyone convicted of such a New York offense may face as much as a 7-year sentence. Sentencing under federal law can be even stiffer.
A conviction for any crime doesn’t look good on your record. White-collar ones can make it nearly impossible to ever return to a position of trust, though. This is why you will want to aggressively fight to defend yourself against the charges that you face. Your future career aspirations depend on your ability to do so successfully.