Identity theft is a growing criminal offense throughout the United States. Technological advances have made it easier for individuals to access the personal information of others, contributing to the increase in identity theft accusations. The penalties for identity theft can be severe, particularly when the personal identification information of multiple people is involved. From unauthorized use of the credit or debit card of others to check forgery or Internet fraud, you may face allegations with potentially harsh consequences.
Considering the serious ramifications a conviction could bring about, if you have been accused of committing identity theft you should retain the services of a Hollywood identity theft lawyer. Our well-versed criminal attorneys at Leifert & Leifert may be able to provide you with the assistance necessary to achieve a positive outcome.
Identity Theft in Hollywood
Fla. Stat. § 817.568 states that it is unlawful to purposely use, or possess with intent to use, the personal identification of others without their consent. Personal identification information may include the following:
- Name, address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, and other primary means of identification, including personal identification numbers
- Unique biometric data and electronic data
- Medical records
- Telecommunication identifying information or access device
Additional identification information could include bank account numbers, identification codes, and other personal access codes. A Hollywood identity theft lawyer may be able to help determine whether you fraudulently utilized or possessed with the intent to use any personal identification information defined by the statute.
Penalties for Hollywood Identity Theft
Fraudulent use of personal identification information is a third-degree Felony under Florida law. A conviction for a third-degree Felony can result in up to five years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
However, identity theft may become a second-degree Felony offense if the fraudulent use of personal identification information involves any of the following situations:
- The financial benefit of the fraud exceeded $5,000
- The individuals used the personal identification information of between ten and 20 people
A conviction for a second-degree Felony may result in a maximum 15 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration of three years. The fine that a judge assesses in a sentence for a second-degree Felony is a maximum of $10,000.
For identity theft that involves fraud worth $50,000 or more or the personal identification information of between 20 and 30 people, the charge may be considered a first-degree Felony. A conviction for a first-degree Felony could result in a $10,000 fine and 30 years in prison. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is five years, and if the fraudulent gain is $100,000 or more, then the mandatory minimum prison sentence is ten years.
Other Examples of Identity Theft
If you use the personal identification information of others solely to harass them, you may commit harassment by use of personal identification information. This offense is a first-degree Misdemeanor offense, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Furthermore, if public records facilitated or furthered any fraudulent use of personal identification information, the offense is reclassified to a higher degree. For instance, if the first offense is a third-degree Felony, the involvement of public records would increase the charge to a second-degree Felony.
Persons who are the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of individuals under the age of 18 or over 60 and who willfully and fraudulently use the personal identification information of these individuals also violate the law. This offense is a second-degree Felony offense under Florida law. An identity theft attorney in Hollywood may help defend you if you have been accused of fraudulent use of a person’s identification information without the owner’s consent.
Contact a Hollywood Identity Theft Attorney for Advice
If you are facing charges for identity theft or related offenses under Florida law, your first step might be to contact a Hollywood identity theft lawyer for advice. Having the involvement of legal counsel from the outset of your case may make a significant difference in its outcome.
A conviction for identity theft can be highly detrimental to your future employment, education, and desired career. If your conviction is for a Felony offense, the situation can involve even more severe consequences. For more information about the legal options available to you, be sure to get in touch with one of our experienced Leifert & Leifert criminal defense attorneys today.