Tampa Identity Theft Lawyers
Learn How Our Attorneys Can Protect Your Interests
Identity theft can be a white collar crime and an Internet crime. It is both a violation of state law and a federal offense, which means that if you are charged with identity theft, you can be tried in state court and federal court. The penalties for federal charges can be much more severe than typical state charges, which is why you must retain a qualified lawyer when accused of any type of identity theft in Florida.
Penalties for Identity Theft in Florida
Under the law, identity theft alone is often considered just a first-degree misdemeanor; however, depending on the means used to obtain the information and actions taken, you could also be facing a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony can result in 20 years to life in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and other consequences. A second-degree felony also carries a heavy prison term of up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine. A third-degree felony can result in up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor, you could face up to one year behind bars and a $1,000 fine; a second-degree misdemeanor carries a 60-day maximum in jail and a $500 fine. You may also be held accountable for paying restitution to the victim when applicable.
What Does the Law Say About Identity Theft?
Under Florida statute, identity theft is also known as the criminal use of personal information, such as their name, address, email address, Social Security number, date of birth, bank account number, credit or debit card number, PIN, passport number, driver's license number, medical records, or electronic ID. Identity theft may be committed in several ways, such as impersonating someone to gain access to secure identification information, counterfeiting personal identification information, or using another's personal identification information.
Florida law classifies several different types of identity theft, including:
- Criminal Use / Possession of Personal Identification Information: Under § 817.568(2), an individual can be charged for fraudulently using or possessing another’s personal identification information without consent. This offense can be as serious as a first degree felony depending on the circumstances.
- Use / Possession of a Deceased Person's Information: Under § 817.568(8), you can be charged for using or possessing the personal identification information of a deceased person.
- Obtaining Property by False Personation: Under § 817.02, you can face a felony or misdemeanor charge, if you falsely present yourself or impersonate another individual to gain funds, property, etc.
- Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information to Harass: Under § 817.568(4), this offense is considered any use of another's identification information without consent to harass that person.
- Use of a Minor's Personal Identification Information: Similar to other offenses, § 817.568(6) says that the fraudulent use of a minor's personal identification information is a second-degree felony.
- Counterfeit / Fictitious Personal Identification Information: Possessing with the intent to use or using fictitious identification information with the intention of committing fraud is a felony under § 817.568(9).
Talk to a Tampa Identity Theft Defense Attorney Today
Don't face decades in prison and extreme fines because you've been accused of identity theft. Take your future in your own hands by exercising your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel. Our team at Thomas & Paulk has fought for clients in Tampa, across the surrounding communities, and throughout the state for more than 20 years. We’ve represented thousands of people who are going through the most difficult times in the face of criminal charges, warrants, and arrests. If you’ve been accused of identity theft, we can help.
Call (813) 321-7323 today to discuss your Tampa identity theft charges.
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