NYC Identity Theft Lawyer: Protecting Your Rights When Facing Fraud Charges
Identity theft and credit card fraud are serious crimes that can have lasting consequences if you are convicted. As identity theft becomes more prevalent, prosecutors in New York City have gotten tougher on enforcing these laws and pushing for harsher penalties. Even a conviction for a relatively minor fraud can result in felony charges and prison time.
If you have been arrested for identity theft, credit card fraud, or any related charge in NYC, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. A knowledgeable attorney can analyze the details of your case, build a strong defense, and advocate for your rights. With so much at stake, it’s important to have skilled legal representation.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of identity theft and fraud laws in New York, typical penalties if convicted, and how an attorney can defend your rights if you are facing charges. We’ll also discuss signs that you may be a victim of identity theft and steps to take.
Overview of Identity Theft and Fraud Laws in New York
There are various degrees of identity theft and fraud charges in New York, depending on the specifics of the alleged crime:
- Identity Theft in the Third Degree – Occurs when someone uses another person’s identity or credit card information to obtain money, goods or services illegally. This is the lowest level of identity theft under NY law.
- Identity Theft in the Second Degree – Applies when the amount involved exceeds $500, or the defendant commits or attempts another felony via identity theft.
- Identity Theft in the First Degree – Charged when the amount involved exceeds $2,000, or the defendant commits or attempts a Class D or higher felony.
- Aggravated Identity Theft – Used when the victim of identity theft was an active member of the military. This elevates the charge to First Degree.
- Scheme to Defraud – Charged when there is an elaborate plan to use false representations to obtain property from others.
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property – Applies when someone knowingly possesses property that was illegally obtained via identity theft or fraud.
- Forgery – Charged when the defendant falsifies a written instrument, like a check or credit card receipt, with intent to defraud others.
Prosecutors may pile on multiple charges in identity theft and fraud cases to intimidate defendants into accepting plea deals for harsh sentences.
How a Skilled NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Defend Your Rights
If you are facing identity theft, fraud or related charges, an experienced NYC criminal defense lawyer can be your best chance at avoiding harsh consequences. A knowledgeable attorney will thoroughly investigate your case, identify any police misconduct or other constitutional violations, and build a strong defense.
Specific defenses a lawyer may use include:
- You were unaware the property was obtained illegally.
- You did not intend to defraud anyone.
- You were falsely accused or wrongly identified.
- The statute of limitations expired.
- Your Miranda rights were violated upon arrest.
- Evidence against you is inadmissible.
In addition to mounting a strong legal defense in court, an attorney can negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or dismissal of charges. They will advocate for the lightest sentence possible if you are convicted.
An identity theft lawyer can also help if your identity was stolen and used illegally. They can assist you in repairing damage to your credit and finances, recovering lost funds, and ensuring the crimes permanently stop.
Warning Signs Your Identity May Have Been Stolen
Here are some common signs that you may be a victim of identity theft:
- You are denied credit unexpectedly.
- You stop receiving financial statements and bills.
- Charges or withdrawals appear on your accounts that you don’t recognize.
- Debt collectors contact you about purchases you didn’t make.
- Your mail is stolen, contains errors, or never arrives.
- Strange accounts appear on your credit report.
Finding the Right NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer for Your Case
If you are facing identity theft, fraud or related charges in New York City, it’s critical to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. A conviction can result in felony charges, substantial prison time, and lasting damage to your finances and reputation.
Act quickly if you have been arrested or think you may be under investigation. Early intervention from a skilled lawyer can often result in charges being reduced or dismissed before a case ever goes to trial. Don’t leave your future in the hands of the justice system without experienced legal representation on your side.