Identity theft is a wide reaching criminal charge. As the fastest growing crime in the U.S., prosecutors are putting the full weight of their resources behind investigating and prosecuting identity theft crimes. Because of the likelihood of multiple theft charges and the complexity of each, it is important to obtain experienced defense representation at the very earliest stages of identity theft charges.
Florida’s identity theft laws are particularly strict. If you are facing an identity theft investigation, or have been charged with a crime, Florida Criminal Defense Attorney David Joffe has the experience to aggressively defend your rights and your freedom. Before you speak to investigators make sure you protect yourself with the advice of counsel. If you don’t, you can harm your ability to defend yourself against any identity theft charges.
Attorney David Joffe has successfully defended hundreds of clients facing theft and fraud charges in both state and federal courts. Call Joffe Law P.A. today to protect your freedom and your rights.
Florida statutes on identity thefts are outlined as follows:
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568)
Obtaining Property by False Personation
Anyone who falsely presents his or herself as another person, or who in any way impersonates another person to obtain property, commits the crime of larceny. Larceny is punishable as either a felony or misdemeanor offense, depending on the value or type of the property taken.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.02)
Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information to Harass
Anyone who uses someone else’s personal identifying information without that person’s permission in an attempt to harass that person commits the crime of criminal use of personal identification information to harass. Using personal identifying information to harass someone is a first-degree misdemeanor.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(4))
Use of a Minor’s Personal Identification Information
In Florida it is a second-degree felony to willfully and fraudulently use the personal information of a person under the age of 18 without that person’s permission, or the permission of the minor’s parent or legal guardian. It is also a second-degree felony if a parent or guardian uses the child’s personal identifying information fraudulently and without the child’s permission.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(6))
Use of Deceased’s Personal Identification Information
Anyone who uses, or possess with the intent to use, the personal identifying information of a deceased person commits a third-degree felony in Florida. Anyone who uses that information to fraudulently obtain goods or services worth $5,000 or more, or use the information of between 10 and 19 individuals, commits a second-degree felony.
If the value of the goods or services obtained is $50,000 or more, or the personal identification information used if from between 20 and 29 deceased people, it is a first-degree felony offense.
Using the personal identification information of 30 or more deceased people, or using that information to obtain $100,000 or more in pecuniary benefit, is a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(8))
Counterfeit or Fictitious Personal Identification Information
Anyone who uses, or possess with the intent to use, falsified or fictitious personal identification information in order to commit a fraud commits the crime of counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information. This crime is a third-degree felony, but depending on the circumstances it can also be charged as a second-degree felony, first-degree felony, or a life-felony.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(9))
Significant penalties often accompany identity theft charges in Florida. In general, misdemeanors have less serious penalties associated with them than felonies, but both can result in significant fines or incarceration sentences. Penalties may include:
- Incarceration. If you are convicted of a felony identity theft crime in Florida you face anywhere from a year to 40 years or more in prison. For conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor identity theft crime you face up to a year in jail.
- Fines. Felony convictions can result in fines of up to $15,000, while a misdemeanor conviction can result in a fine of anywhere up to $1,000.
- Probation. A court can order someone convicted of identity theft in Florida to serve probation in addition to, or separate from, incarceration and fines. Those on probation have to comply with specific conditions, such as paying all fines and restitution, not associating with known criminals, meeting regularly with the probation officer, and not possessing or owning any firearms.
- Restitution. In any case where an identity theft crime results in an individual or an organization losing money, the court can also impose a restitution order. Restitution compensates any victims and must be paid in addition to any fines or court costs.
Call our office at 954-723-0007 to get the experienced defense you need.