If you obtained someone else’s personal information and used it or assisted someone in using it “to assume the identity of or represent [yourself] as [that] person, without [their] authorization and with the purpose to fraudulently obtain or attempt to obtain a benefit or services, or avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation or avoid prosecution for a crime by using the name of the other person” you shall be charged with wrongful impersonation” [Source: N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17]. The New Jersey State Police says that when you commit wrongful impersonation in Newark, the charge ranges from “a Disorderly Person’s offense to a crime of the second degree in cases where five or more identities have been used to obtain a benefit or service in the amount of $75,000 or more or the identities of five or more people have been used to obtain a benefit.”
If you have been accused of wrongful impersonation in Newark, NJ (e.g. using someone else’s social security number for your benefit, using their credit cards to make purchases, etc.), The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is here to defend you and protect your rights. Did you know that if you are charged with a disorderly person’s offense, you could face up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both [Source: State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety]? To make matters worse, if you are charged with a second-degree offense, you may have to spend up to 10 years in prison and face a fine of $150,000 given you are convicted of the crime and the court imposes the maximum penalties.
If you’d like to sit down with a criminal defense lawyer in Newark, NJ and find out what can be done to get your charges reduced to a lesser degree or even thrown out, we encourage you to contact our office today. The fact is, although you have been charged with a crime, it doesn’t mean you are guilty, or even if you are guilty, it does not mean the State will successfully prove your guilt. In order for you to be found guilty of wrongful impersonation, the State must prove the following three elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
You “knowingly impersonated another [individual] or assumed a false identity.”
To help clarify the first element for you, below we have provided you with definitions for some of the terms.
- Impersonate “means to assume the character or appearance of another, or to imitate the appearance, voice, or manner of another.”
- Knowingly- “A person acts knowingly with respect to the nature of his/her conduct or the attendant circumstances if he/she is aware that the conduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist, or the person is aware of a high probability of their existence.” A person knowingly does something when they are aware that their “conduct will cause a result.”
You “knowingly did an act in such assumed character or false identity.”
Your “purpose in doing that act was to obtain a benefit for [yourself] or to obtain a benefit for another, or to injure another, or to defraud another.”
To provide you with some clarification, below you’ll find the definitions for a few of the terms found in the third element.
- “Obtain” means one of two things. The first is “in relation to property, to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of a legal interest in the property, whether to oneself or another.” The second is “in relation to labor or service, to secure performance thereof.”
- “Benefit” refers to “any property, any pecuniary amount, any services, any pecuniary amount sought to be avoided or any injury or harm perpetrated on another where there is no pecuniary value.”
- Defraud- To defraud means “to deprive a person of property or any interest, estate, or right by deceit, artifice, trickery or cheat.”
- Injure “means to cause any damage that may ensue to the good name, standing, position or general reputation of (victim’s name). It may also mean to misrepresent or injuriously affect the sentiments, opinions, conduct, character, prospects, interests or rights of another.”
[Source: N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17a].
Now, if you are ready to discuss your charge(s) with an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Newark, NJ who is going to protect your freedom and your rights, its time you contact our office. If you are seeking legal representation for a family member or friend who is currently being detained, we welcome your calls as well. The fact is, being charged with a criminal offense, especially one that carries jail time, is a scary thing and it is important that you or your family member has all the help and support you can get. To learn more about our firm and the services we offer, contact us today at 973-453-2009 for an initial consultation.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
201 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102