Identity Theft Arrest: What Now?
In an increasingly technological world, identity theft has become a familiar crime. It has been a familiar crime in some areas of New Hampshire like Exeter, Portsmouth and Manchester. A New Hampshire identity theft offense is a matter of serious concern since it is classified as a class A felony if the loss exceeds $1,000. Otherwise, it is a class B felony.
Identity theft consists of a number of different acts. These include the following:
• Impersonating someone with the intent to defraud someone out of money, goods, services or anything of value.
• Obtaining the personal records of another person, including social security number, bank account numbers, driver’s license, or other identifying documents without that person’s consent with the intent to pose as that person.
• Obtaining the personal records of another person without their consent to help another party pose as that person.
• Impersonating another person with the intent to obtain confidential information not available to the general public.
How Does Identity Theft Occur?
Most identity theft occurs online by computer savvy hackers who are able to gather data from unprotected computers, or by enticing a computer user into giving up credit card, banking, or other data.
Personal information can also be obtained by stealing mail or by sifting through someone’s garbage or discarded documents.
Skimming is another method used by retail employees who use a device that copies information contained in a credit card’s magnetic strip to create a new card.
Safeguarding your security card number is essential. People could use your number to apply for credit cards, loans, government benefits, and even a driver’s license to slowly drive up debt in your name or slowly drain your bank accounts.
Penalties for Being Convicted of Identity Theft
Most identity theft cases in New Hampshire involve a loss of more than $1,000, which classifies the offense as a class A felony, which carries up to 15 years in prison and/or a $4,000 fine. This usually encompasses credit card fraud. If the loss is under $1,000, it is a class B felony, with imprisonment of up to 7 years. In some circumstances, the theft may be downgraded to a misdemeanor.
If you used a scanning device to skim a credit card’s magnetic strip to obtain information to create a new card, the crime is a misdemeanor. However, if you used the device at least two times for such purposes, the offense is enhanced to a class B felony.
The court will also order you to pay restitution to the victim or to the bank or other financial institution, if it reimbursed its defrauded customer. A civil suit could result in your having to pay $5,000 per incident, or three times the actual damages, whichever is greater.
Retain a New Hampshire Identity Theft Attorney
You face considerable penalties if convicted of identity theft in New Hampshire. You could spend years in prison and be subject to thousands of dollars in fines and restitution to your victims.
Once you are released from prison, you will be on probation and may be subject to certain restrictions that could seriously affect your lifestyle. You also face considerable obstacles in seeking employment, housing, enrolling in school, or in obtaining a professional license.
Don’t trust your freedom and your future to any criminal defense lawyer. Get a free consultation with Ryan Russman, one of New Hampshire’s premiere criminal defense lawyers.