Most people have probably heard of identity theft in New York, but they may not be completely aware of what it involves. Generally, identity theft involves a person obtaining and using another person’s identifying information in order to gain a benefit. Normally, the benefit received is a financial one.
Identity theft may occur when a person obtains another’s Social Security number, bank account information, credit or department store card, telephone calling card or other assorted identifiers. The person then uses the information to either drain bank accounts, or in some cases, to assume the other person’s identity in order to obtain lines of credit.
Identity theft is treated very seriously in both the state courts as well as in New York’s federal courts. Victims of identity theft often suffer more than financial losses. They may spend years trying to remove negative information from their credit reports.
Not all people who are accused of identity theft have actually committed any crime, however. As convictions for white collar crimes can expose people to long prison terms and significant restitution orders, they may want to meet with a criminal defense attorney. The documents involved in white collar matters can sometimes run into thousands of pages, and an attorney may be able to trace through the information in an efficient manner in order to compose defenses to the charges as alleged. Defense attorneys may also be able to secure pleas to alternative sentences instead of prison time in the event it appears likely that prison time would otherwise result. Whether a person decides to take a case to trial or to take a plea, they may need help.