NYC Identity Theft Lawyer

Dedicated Identity Theft Lawyer in New York City

While identity theft has posed a vexing problem for individuals and corporations for some time, the proliferation of eCommerce over the past two decades has only expanded the lure of easily committed crimes — and made identity theft one of the most prosecuted white collar crimes in New York.  The harm caused to innocent victims of identity theft makes this crime one that courts take most seriously when deciding upon punishment for convicted offenders.   

When faced with charges involving identity theft, you must have an experienced attorney on your side who will fight these charges with all that he has.   One who has represented clients ranging from members of international cyber identity theft rings to brainy grad student hackers.  One who will investigate the matter thoroughly, explore with you all possible defenses, litigate through motion practice aggressively and if appropriate, try the case and win before a jury.  For more than 30 years, NYC identity theft lawyer Fred Sosinsky has done just that for countless clients.  Fred has helped them beat back such charges, avoid jail and get on with their lives.  

Identity Theft and Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information


New York State law defines identity theft as the deliberate act of assuming another person’s identity or using their personal identification information for the purpose of obtaining money, credit, goods, or services fraudulently. These crimes can often be charged as cybercrimes as well, depending on the circumstances of the identity theft in question. The crime of identity theft may be committed in person, over the telephone, on the internet, or through the mail.   Identity theft may be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony.  That determination depends principally on the value of the benefits obtained or the financial harm caused by the fraud. There are many types of identity theft and certain circumstances will determine the specific identity theft charges brought against you. Luckily, an NYC identity theft lawyer who has worked on countless cases in this area will be able to guide you through the defense process and figure out the best options for you.

nyc identity theft lawyer

Types of Identity Theft Charges in New York

As mentioned, there are many different types of identity theft charges in New York, all of which carry different definitions and penalties if convicted. The related crime of unlawful possession of personal identification information also punishes those who are found to have possession of the kinds of data that are intended to be used to commit identity theft.  The intent of this law is to punish those who may be in the business of using or selling this type of information for profit even though they themselves may not engage in fraudulent transactions with it. Below are the types of identity theft charges an NYC identity theft lawyer frequently represents.

Identity Theft in the Third Degree

Identity Theft in the Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.  A person may be charged with Identity Theft in the Third Degree in New York when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud assumes the identity of another person by presenting him or herself as that other person or using that other person’s personal identifying information for the purpose of acquiring goods, money, property, or services, or uses credit in the name of such other person or causes financial loss to them; or commits a class A misdemeanor or higher level crime.

New York law defines personal identifying information as including an individual’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, mother’s maiden name, banking,  credit and debit card account numbers and codes, taxpayer ID, computer passwords, signature or electronic signature or PINS.

Identity Theft in the Second Degree

Identity Theft in the Second Degree is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in state prison.  A person may be charged with Identity Theft in the Second Degree in New York when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud assumes the identity of another person by presenting him or herself as that other person or using that other person’s personal identifying information and obtains goods, money, property, or services, or uses credit in the name of such other person in an aggregate amount exceeding $500, or causes financial loss to them in an amount exceeding $500; or commits a felony, or previously has been convicted of identity theft or related crimes.

Identity Theft in the First Degree

Identity Theft in the First Degree is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison.  A person may be charged with Identity Theft in the First Degree in New York when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud A person may be charged with this offense when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud assumes the identity of another person by presenting him or herself as that other person or using that other person’s personal identifying information and obtains goods, money, property, or services, or uses credit in the name of such other person in an aggregate amount exceeding $2,000, or causes financial loss to them in an amount exceeding $2,000, or commits a felony or previously has been convicted of identity theft or related crimes.

Aggravated Identity Theft

Aggravated Identity Theft is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison.  A person may be charged with Aggravated Identity Theft in New York when he or she commits identity theft in the second degree while knowing that the victim of the crime is a member of the armed forces who is deployed overseas. 

Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Third Degree

Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.  A person may be charged with Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Third Degree in New York when he or she knowingly possesses a person’s banking account number or code, credit card number or code, debit card account number or code,  financial services account 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, knowing such information is intended to be used in furtherance of the commission of a financial crime. 

Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree

Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in state prison.  A person may be charged with Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree in New York when he or she knowingly possesses two hundred fifty or more items of personal identification information of a kind referred to in the third degree crime of unlawful possession of personal identification information knowing that such information is intended to be used in furtherance of the commission of a financial crime.

Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the First Degree

Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the First Degree is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison.  A person may be charged with Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the First Degree in New York when he or she commits the crime of unlawful possession of personal identification information in the second degree and with intent to further the commission of identity theft in the second degree, he or she supervises more than three accomplices or supervises more than two accomplices, and knows that the person whose PII is possessed is a member of the armed forces who are deployed overseas; or has previously been convicted of identity theft.

nyc identity theft attorney

Defenses To Identity Theft Charges in New York

When consulting with NYC identity theft attorney Fred Sosinsky, several potential winning strategies may be considered. All identity theft cases vary based on the specific circumstances that make up the charge, that’s why it’s crucial to have a custom defense strategy implemented on your behalf. An experienced Manhattan identity theft lawyer will have the experience and tools needed to provide the best defense in New York courts.

First, if as is often the case, the prosecution is reliant upon forensic evidence linking a residence or even a specific computer with the crime, defense experts will conduct their own analysis to determine whether the transaction may have emanated from another location or device, perhaps one that is shared amongst members of the same apartment or house.  Such an analysis may also suggest a lack of proof regarding the identity of the computer’s user at the relevant time.  If the prosecution will have difficulty establishing that it was the accused to the exclusion of all others that engaged in the illicit transaction, a viable defense may be presented.

Second, there is the possibility that the data involved was not kept secret or may even have been provided to the accused by a former spouse, child, roommate, or coworker.   Often enough, changes or breaks in relationships cause affected parties to make claims that are not true; this is no less the case when it comes to claims that the accused did not have authorized access to the identification information or permission to use it.  If it can be shown that such data or consent had been provided to the accused, this is just the type of evidence that can lead to a dismissal of all charges. 

Third, law enforcement often discovers the presence of credit or debit cards and other PII during the course of a search of a person, vehicle, or premises.   The evidence may be discovered when investigators search computers or cell phones. But if the police did not have sufficient cause to have lawfully stopped the individual or car in question or to search a residence or room, the fruits of that search — and likely the case itself — may be thrown out of court.   

Identity Theft and Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information are serious crimes here in New York City.  Many judges have no problem sending even a first time offender to jail if convicted of these offenses.  If you or someone you love has been accused of these crimes, contact NYC identity theft lawyer Fred Sosinsky and discuss the defense of your case now.  

Contact The Leading NYC Identity Theft Lawyer Today

If you’re facing identity theft charges in New York, your first move should be to contact a federal criminal defense lawyer with years of experience handling these types of cases. Fred Sosinsky has over 30 years of experience representing the people of New York and has successfully defended countless clients that were facing identity theft charges. Call NYC identity theft lawyer Fred Sosinsky today for a free consultation to begin reviewing your case.

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