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Aggravated Identity Theft: NY Penal Law 190.80-A

Some crimes in New York State are enhanced due to the condition, age, ethnicity or other characteristic of the victims the law seeks to protect. Although Aggravated Identity Theft, New York Penal Law 190.80-A, does not distinguish on these grounds, the New York State Legislature enhanced criminal penalties where an Identity Theft crime targets a member of the armed forces whether that man or woman is serving in the Airforce, Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard or in any branch of the service and in any capacity. In fact, what otherwise may be prosecuted by a District Attorney in New York City or any one of the multiple counties throughout the Hudson Valley as an “E” felony can, under the right circumstances, be ratcheted up to a class “D” felony offense.

Understanding the Crime of Aggravated Identity Theft: Elements of NY PL 190.80-A

In its simplest description, a criminal lawyer or Identity Theft attorney can break down Aggravated Identity Theft as an offense very similar to subsections (1) and (2) of Identity Theft in the Second Degree. Unlike the latter, however, Aggravated Identity Theft is a much graver offense with far greater penalties and sanctions. Instead of a potential sentence maxing out at four years, a conviction for NY Penal Law 190.80-A can leave a defendant incarcerated for up to seven years.

Addressing the elements of Aggravated Identity Theft is best left to a review of the actual statute and consultation with your criminal lawyer, but the basics are relatively easy to follow. In fact, they are not much more difficult to violate either. If you seek to intentionally defraud another person and knowingly do the same while assuming the identity of another person, then you are on your way to running astray of NY Penal Law 190.80-A. In addition, you must also be aware that the person you are purporting to be is in the armed forces and deployed outside the United States. Moreover, you must also use that person's personal identifying information (examples include date of birth, debit card number, and social security number) to obtain money, property or services. Other criminal behavior includes using the credit of your victim whether you know him or her personally or not. Ultimately, whatever your alleged fraudulent path may be, the monetary threshold must be in excess of $500. Similarly, even if you do not gain or secure a benefit in this amount, if you cause a financial loss to that person in an aggregate amount exceeding $500, then you are guilty of Aggravated Identity Theft as well.

At bottom, Aggravated Identity Theft is a crime that is not routinely prosecuted, but when District Attorneys or the NYS Attorney General pursues this crime on a felony complaint or presents evidence establishing this offense to a Grand Jury, you should take notice. Between having no patience nor sympathy for perpetrators of Identity Theft and having rightful respect for those who serve our nation and keep us safe, judges, juries and prosecutors may not be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Simply, expect that you and your criminal lawyer will have his or her work cut out for you even if they are ultimately successful in exonerating you, mitigating your wrongdoing or challenging the legality of the charges.

Irrespective of the Identity Theft charge you face and regardless of the jurisdiction from Manhattan and Rockland County to Brooklyn and Westchester County, when accused of a felony offense never forget that there is no substitution for knowledge, experience and advocacy. The New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys are prepared and capable of providing that and more to best implement the right defense.

Call our New York Aggravated Identity Theft lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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