Impersonation in New Jersey
Pretending to be someone else anywhere online like on Facebook can be a crime in New Jersey. New Jersey Statutes – Title 2C The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice – 2C:21-17 is about impersonation; theft of identity; crime. People not aware of this law can get into a lot of criminal liability. The person could get sued by the person being impersonated or harassed, and end up in jail after the State prosecutes for violating a criminal statute.
Under the New Jersey Statutes, a person may be guilty of an impersonation offense if the person:
- Impersonates another or assumes a false identity and does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud;
An example of this may be making up an email account in another person’s friend’s name to ridicule the person for fun.
Another example of this is using a fake name to register for online services like Facebook. Gone are the days of alternative personalities. When people cannot act the same online as they do offline, there is a question about integrity. If people do not want what they are doing offline to be online then should they really be doing it? People may no longer have avatars and pretend to be who they really want to escape their real lives.
- Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit or to injure or defraud;
An example of this is going into a trade show with a registered attendee’s name badge to get the benefit of the trade show speakers and freebies.
- Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person, in an oral or written application for services, for the purpose of obtaining services;
An example of this is signing up for a vehicle license plate under another person’s name in order to get a tax deduction for having an electric car.
- Obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and uses that information, to assume the identity of or represent himself as another person, without that person’s authorization and with the purpose to fraudulently obtain a benefit; or
An example of this is to use someone else’s date of birth and social security number to apply for a credit card without the person’s permission like through a power of attorney.
Another example of this is using a senior citizen’s date of birth to apply for a bus pass to get the senior discount.
- Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement, in the course of making an oral or written application for services, with the purpose of avoiding payment for prior services.
An example of this is filing a bankruptcy petition under another person’s name to avoid paying debts.
When faced with criminal charges for impersonations, engage a New Jersey criminal defense attorney who knows how to interpret criminal statutes to reduce prison time and penalties. Contact the Law Office of Jason A. Volet at (732) 503-8968 or fill out the form on the right.