New Yorkers may already be familiar with the crime of identity theft. After all, it seems to be a frequent occurrence in the news to hear of a credit card breach or an email scam that attempts to convince individuals to reveal personal information that the perpetrators could use to steal the individual’s identity for their own gain. It is a serious crime with serious consequences. That is why individuals wrongfully accused of identity theft should do what is necessary to clear their names and avoid a conviction.
New Yorkers may want to know, are there any affirmative defenses to the crime of identity theft? While nothing can replace the advice of a dedicated criminal defense attorney, per New York statutes there are some affirmative defenses to the crime of identity theft. For example, if the individual is less than 21-years-old when the alleged incident occurs and that individual purportedly used another’s identity in order to purchase alcohol that may be an affirmative defense.
Similarly, if an individual is less than 18-years-old when the alleged identity theft occurred, and the incident purportedly took place so that the alleged individual could purchase tobacco products, this could be an affirmative defense to the crime of identity theft. Finally, if the alleged identity theft took place solely so that the reported perpetrator could access a venue that has age restrictions, this could be considered an affirmative defense to the crime of identity theft.
These are three affirmative defenses to the crime of identity theft. Of course, in order to be convicted of identity theft, all elements of the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If any reasonable doubt exists that an individual may not have committed the crime, that individual should not be convicted.