Aggravated Identity Theft In New York
People may choose to impersonate other people for a variety of reasons. An underage minor might choose to impersonate his older brother in order to obtain cigarettes or alcohol. A felon might try to impersonate someone with a clean record in order to obtain a firearm. If you live in New York, it’s important to understand that identity theft is always illegal. But what exactly is “aggravated identity theft,” and what should you do if you have been charged with this crime?
The answer to the latter question is simple: get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you connect with one of these legal professionals, the sooner you can start to fight for your rights in an effective manner. A qualified defense attorney can help you employ a variety of proven strategies to mitigate legal consequences, including incarceration and fines.
What is Aggravated Identity Theft?
Aggravated identity theft is the most serious form of identity theft you can be charged with in New York. It is prosecuted as a felony, and consequences are much more severe compared to Identity theft in the first and second degree. You may face a prison sentence of two years if you commit a “general” offense, or a sentence of five years if it is prosecuted as a “terrorism” offense. It should be noted that this is a federal law.
An Example of Aggravated Identity Theft
On January 5th, it was reported that an Italian citizen had been charged with aggravated identity theft in New York after impersonating publishing industry individuals. This defendant used his false identities to fraudulently obtain hundreds of valuable manuscripts from notable writers, including a Pulitzer prize winner. Essentially, he was stealing these unpublished books by posing as an agent, a literary scout, and in some cases entire publishing houses.
This individual had experience within the publishing industry, and he was living in London at the time of his crimes. It is unclear whether or not this individual actually gained anything from his actions, but pirated books and leaked first drafts are a major issue within the publishing industry. These illegal copies can be distributed for a profit, and they can also compromise an author’s ability to obtain film & television rights.
In the end, the defendant was charged with 1 count of wire fraud and 2 counts of aggravated identity theft. Although aggravated identity theft comes with a mandatory consecutive sentence of 2 years, wire fraud is a much more serious charge, with a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
For help from a skilled New York criminal defense attorney, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy. Over the years, we have helped a variety of defendants fight for their rights, and we can employ a range of effective defense strategies on your behalf. Book your consultation today, and we can discuss your legal options and develop an action plan together.