Is Identity Theft a White Collar Crime?

What is identity theft?

The law defines identity theft as a crime where a person’s identifying information — their personal information such as a social security number or their financial information, like a credit card number or bank account information — is stolen with the intent to commit fraudulent purchases and transactions in the alleged victim’s name. 

The person on the receiving end of this type of theft will often have to face financial stress, damage to their credit, and ongoing burdens related to their name and reputation. 

Though there are many different types of identity theft, the most common reason a person’s identity is stolen is for financial gain. 

The term “identity theft” was first coined in the 1960s, and since then, thanks to the advent of the internet and the development of digitally based financial systems, identity theft has become increasingly sophisticated. 

Those who have been unjustly accused of identity theft need to know their rights, including how the federal government defines and prosecutes these crimes. 

Is identity theft considered a white collar crime?

Though there are different types of identity theft and different levels of severity associated with it, identity theft, by and large, is considered a white collar crime. 

Why? Because of the fact that white collar crime is considered non-violent in nature, and because it largely centers on different types of financial fraud where there is typically no physical contact between the perpetrator and victim, identity theft meets the general definition of white collar crime. 

Have you been accused of felony identity theft? Then you need a strong legal defense! 

What do I do if I’ve been accused of committing identity theft?

Being accused of a crime can be an incredibly stressful experience. What we recommend to all of our prospective clients is to do their best in staying calm, staying quiet, and securing an attorney as quickly as possible. 

Why is staying calm so important? The authorities are looking for every bit of information they can gather to build a strong case against you. Your ability to stay calm, stay focused, and maintain a respectful attitude toward them won’t necessarily put you in their good graces, but it will give them very little to work with in building their case. 

Why is staying quiet so important? Again, the prosecution is looking to use whatever they can in building their case against you. Anything you say “can and will be used against you in a court of law,” which means that it is in your best interest to remain quiet until you have secured an attorney and they can speak to the authorities on your behalf. 

Staying calm and quiet can be difficult for many people who have been accused of a crime, which is quite understandable. Our knee jerk reaction to being falsely accused is to bargain, to over explain, and to try to talk our way out of situations that make us uncomfortable. This will not work, and in fact will probably weaken your defense, so keep your mouth shut!

Why is getting an attorney so important? 

Securing legal counsel is absolutely vital in protecting your freedom because this is the one person who can help you navigate the pitfalls of the justice system, provide you guidance on how to endure the court of public opinion, and even offer you the emotional support as you face potential fines, probation, or even jail time. 

How do I get a criminal defense attorney if I’ve been accused of identity theft?

We recommend that you contact the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot for your confidential consultation. We’ve been in the practice of criminal defense in the state of New Jersey for over fifty years, and have watched the legal system adapt to the evolving world, and with it we have effectively adapted the way we serve the needs of the accused. 

Don’t delay in finding an attorney who can help you mount a strong legal defense against false accusations. When you choose the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot, you’re choosing a team who has the skills and experience to defend you at the state or federal level. Contact us today!