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New York Identity Theft Laws

In an era where an individual's personal identifying information is of increasing importance and value, the prevalence of identity theft is logical, yet frightening at the same time. A person commits the most basic form of identity theft in New York when he or she "knowingly and with intent to defraud" assumes another person's identity and with that identity:

  • Obtains goods, money, property or services or uses credit or causes financial loss, or
  • Commits a class A misdemeanor or higher level crime.

The degree of the offense increases based on the value gained or lost, the types of crimes committed using the victim's identity, or any past identity theft convictions. Defendants commit second degree identity theft, for example, if: (1) the value gained or lost exceeds $500; (2) they commit a felony or act as an accessory to the commission of a felony; or (3) they have a prior third degree identity theft conviction within the past 5 years. For first degree identity theft, the value gained or lost must exceed $2,000, the associated crime must be a Class D felony or higher, or the defendant must have a prior second degree identity theft conviction within the past 5 years.

New York Identity Theft Laws At A Glance

For more information on New York's laws relating to New York identity theft laws, see chart below.

Code Section
Penalties and Sentences

Third Degree Identity Theft: This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 or up to double the value of the property subject to the crime.

Second Degree Identity Theft: This is a Class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or up to double the value of the defendant's gain from the crime.

First Degree Identity Theft / Aggravated Identity Theft: These are Class D felonies punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or up to double the value of the defendant's gain from the crime.

Defenses

Defenses to identity theft in New York apply where the Defendant:

  • Was less than 21 and the sole purpose was to purchase alcohol
  • Was less than 18 and the sole purpose was to purchase tobacco products
  • Used or possessed another's personal identifying or identification information for the sole purpose of gaining access to a place with age restrictions

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Identity Theft Laws: Additional Resources

For additional information and resources related to New York identity theft laws, see the links below:

Have You Been Charged With Identity Theft In New York? Get A Free Initial Case Evaluation

As you can see, one of the most important elements of identity theft in New York is the "intent to defraud" which can be difficult for the prosecution to prove. Ultimately, if you're facing identity theft charges your case will be determined by the evidence that is admitted at trial. Criminal defense attorneys are experts in evaluating evidence, whether favorable or not, and shaping it to your advantage. Get in touch with one today and receive a free initial case review.

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