Identity Theft Defense Attorney in Nassau County, Long Island, NY
Each year, the number of identity theft cases prosecuted in Nassau County and throughout Long Island, NY, continue to increase dramatically. The prosecutors will go to great lengths to seek restitution for all losses suffered by the alleged victim in the case. In many of these cases, the prosecutor asks for jail time or prison time, especially in those cases in which the loss was substantial.
The most serious identity theft cases involve organized crime organizations stealing financial and personal information from strangers. Those cases, however, are difficult to prosecute. For this reason, the most commonly prosecuted cases involve a friend, neighbor, or relative who uses identity theft to steal from someone he or she knows. These crimes are also commonly prosecuted in the employment setting because employees are often accused of stealing intangible financial or personal information from the employer or a customer of the business.
No matter the reason for the charge, if you were arrested for any type of grand larceny, possession of stolen property, identity theft or unlawful possession of personal ID information in Nassau County, Long Island, NY, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni to discuss your case. Call (516) 972-1212 to discuss your case today.
Types of Identity Theft Charges in Nassau County, Long Island, NY
Stephanie Selloni represents clients on all types of fraud offenses contained in Article 190 of New York’s Penal Law including:
- § 190.80–a Aggravated Identity Theft;
- § 190.80 Identity Theft in the First Degree;
- § 190.79 Identity Theft in the Second Degree;
- § 190.78 Identity Theft in the Third Degree; and
- § 190.77 Offenses Involving Theft of Identity; Definitions.
In 2002, the New York legislature created six different crimes dealing with “identity theft.” At the same time, three crimes were created for “unlawful possession of personal identification information.” Those offenses can be found in NY Penal Law §§ 190.78 to 190.83.
The legislative history of the statutes provide:
According to the March 2002 United States General Accounting Office Report on Identity Theft, the FTC Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse received a weekly average of 3,000 answered calls. New York State is listed only behind California as the leading state for identity theft complaints.
The United States Public Interest Research Group estimated that in 1995 banks lost approximately $90 million due to identity theft. That number continues to grow. The “big three” consumer credit reporting agencies report that they receive hundreds of calls every day from identity theft victims. Some courts view the banks and other entities that issue credit as the only victims in these cases. Unfortunately, consumers who have been left with damaged reputations, bad credit reports and the resource-consuming task of trying to correct the false credit record information, are also victims.
Definition in New York’s Identity Theft Statutes
Penal Law § 190.77(1) defines the term “personal identifying information.”
Penal Law § 190.77(2)(a) defines the term “electronic signature” which is contained in the statute for “unlawful possession of personal identification information.”
Penal Law § 190.77(2)(b) defines the term “personal identification number” (also known as “PIN”).
The New York legislature has enacted laws to protect account information and other financial and personal information. Specifically, in chapter 619 of the Laws of 2002, the legislature amended or added sections to various statutes in order to address the problem of people who engage in identity theft or use other people’s personal information without authorization.
These provisions make the criminal possession of account information a completed crime. The prosecution is not required to prove that the information was actually used. Instead, the crimes are targeted at the unauthorized possession of the intangible account information.
In 2002, the New York legislation added the crimes of identity theft in the third, second, and first degrees (Penal Law §§ 190.78, 190.79, and 190.80), as well as unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third, second, and first degrees (Penal Law §§ 190.81, 190.82, and 190.83).
For instance, unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree (Penal Law § 190.81), provides as follows:
“A person is guilty of unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree when he or she knowingly possesses a person’s financial services account number or code, savings account number or code, checking account number or code, brokerage account number or code, credit card account number or code, debit card number or code, automated teller machine number or code, personal identification number, mother’s maiden name, computer system password, electronic signature or unique biometric data that is a fingerprint, voice print, retinal image or iris image of another person knowing such information is intended to be used in furtherance of the commission of a crime defined in this chapter ” (emphasis added).
Later, the legislature added “aggravated identity theft” (Penal Law § 190.80–a; see L. 2008, ch. 226, § 2).
Defenses to Identity Theft or Unlawful Possession of Personal ID Information in NY
New York’s Penal Law § 190.84 became effective on November 1, 2002. New York law provides that in any prosecution for identity theft or unlawful possession of personal identification information pursuant to article 190, it shall be an affirmative defense that the person charged with the offense:
- was under twenty-one years of age at the time of committing the offense and the person used or possessed the personal identifying or identification information of another solely for the purpose of purchasing alcohol;
- was under eighteen years of age at the time of committing the offense and the person used or possessed the personal identifying or identification information of another solely for the purpose of purchasing tobacco products; or
- used or possessed the personal identifying or identification information of another person solely for the purpose of misrepresenting the person’s age to gain access to a place the access to which is restricted based on age.
The defenses contained in New York Penal Law § 190.84 related to excuse crimes by young people to use another person’s identification to buy alcohol or tobacco (often called the “underaged fake id” case) or to gain access to a place where access is normally restricted based on age.
Identity Theft in New York – Visit the website for the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection to learn more about identity theft in the State of New York and tips on preventing the crime. As one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, identity theft involves obtaining another person’s personal or financial information to acquire credit, merchandise or services. Alternatively, ID theft can occur when a thief uses your credentials in the commission of a crime. The website also has links to a YouTube video on why “Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone.” Read more about understanding identity theft, protecting yourself from identity theft, how to respond to id theft and mitigating the damages.
Identity Theft in the State of New York – Visit the website for the New York State Office of the Attorney General, The current New York Attorney General is Eric T. Schneiderman, The website explains that id theft is the unlawful use of an individual’s personal identification information including name, social security number, driver’s license information or bank and credit card accounts used to establish credit, make purchases, or apply for loans. Also find a link to the Identity Theft Victim Kit to help you fill out police reports and begin the process to clear your name.
Identity Theft Explained by the NYPD – Visit the website of the New York Police Department to learn more about identity theft from the Community Affairs Bureau Criminal Prevention Section of the NYPD.
Identity and Credit Card Theft – Nassau County District Attorney’s Office – Visit the website for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office to learn more about identity theft and credit card theft and how these crimes are prosecuted throughout Long Island, NY.
Finding an Attorney for Identity Theft Cases in Nassau County, Long Island, NY
If you were charged with identity theft or aggravated identity theft in Nassau County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Stephanie Selloni represent clients on a variety of fraud charges and white collar crimes including identity theft and credit card fraud throughout Long Island, NY.
Related offenses include “Unlawful Possession of Personal ID Information” in the First Degree, Second Degree or Third Degree under § 190.83, § 190.82 and § 190.81, credit card fraud, possession of stolen property, and grand larceny. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Nassau County at (516) 972-1212 today to discuss your case.
Article last updated on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.