Identity Theft and Identity Fraud Related Crimes: NY PL Article 190

If it isn’t the fastest growing type of crime in New York, Identity Theft and related Identity Fraud crimes are likely some of the most commonly prosecuted offenses. Exposing an accused to both misdemeanors and felony arrests and convictions, whether you are charged with Third Degree Identity Theft, New York Penal Law 190.78, Second Degree Criminal Impersonation, New York Penal Law 190.25, Third Degree Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information, New York Penal Law 190.81, False Personation, New York Penal Law 190.23, or Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device, New York Penal Law 190.85, know that judges, District Attorneys, detectives, victims and juries do not tolerate these crimes. Simply, your criminal defense attorney will no doubt explain, if it doesn’t become painfully clear, that law enforcement’s tolerance for Identity Fraud offenses is as close to zero as any other crime. No, an Identity Theft or Identity Fraud type crime is not as serious as a violent attack or a crime involving a weapon in terms of potential imprisonment or incarceration, but the consequences to a victim can mean not mere hours, but years fixing destroyed credit, combating bogus financial transactions and even having to answer to wrongdoings perpetrated by an identity thief. If you are accused of these or other crimes defined and codified throughout New York Penal Law Article 190, you and your criminal defense lawyer have your work cut out.

Just like other misdemeanors found in the New York Penal Law, the Identity Theft and Identity Fraud crimes found in New York Penal Law 190 are either class “A” or class “B” misdemeanors and are punishable by a sentence of up to one year and ninety days in jail respectively. Moreover, a conviction for any of these crimes is permanent. Arguably the worst penalty, there is no legal means to expunge these convictions and only after ten years is it potentially possible to seal your criminal record from public view. More concerning, and something that you must examine further with your criminal defense lawyer, the difference between a misdemeanor crime and a felony offense for an Article 190 crime is often fairly insignificant. For example, what may be initially charged by the NYPD on a Desk Appearance Ticket or DAT for Third Degree Identity Theft, may morph into a felony crime of Second Degree or Third Degree Identity Theft by the time you stand before the judge at your arraignment. Moreover, many of these crimes are not sole charges in a criminal court complaint, but one of many offenses in misdemeanor court or on a felony indictment. It is both common and routine to see misdemeanor charges either elevated alongside felony crimes such a Second Degree Forgery or other offenses including Grand Larceny. Because of this, it is critically important to get in front of an arrest or investigation involving any of these misdemeanor crimes before you find yourself in a more dire situation facing numerous felonies and a potential punishment involving New York State prison.

At bottom, do not think any of the misdemeanor crimes from False Personation to Third Degree Identity Theft are mere lesser offenses whether you received an appearance ticket or otherwise. Whether you find yourself in court the same day of your arrest or you are released with the promise to return on a Desk Appearance Ticket in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or any municipality in the Hudson Valley or elsewhere, indifference, a cavalier attitude or a lack of understanding will leave you learning a lifelong lesson and not of the kind you want to have on your criminal record. Might you have a valid or strong defense? Absolutely. Should you wait to move forward protecting your future? Absolutely not.

The decisions you make today to collect evidence, secure witness statements, and set your best defense to a New York Identity Theft or Identity Fraud crimes can make the difference between exoneration or minimization of exposure to a conviction and even incarceration. Protect yourself and contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC. Our experience, knowledge and advocate is your best defense.

Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors.