Legal Consequences for Contributing to Florida’s Already High Identity Theft Rates
According to USA Today, the Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) received nearly 2.6 million consumer complaints in 2014, 13 percent of which were concerning identity theft and credit card fraud. Of these complaints, fraudulent tax filings and scams involving other government documents were the most common forms of identity theft reported. Florida saw by far the most complaints of identity theft than any other state in the nation, with a reported 37,059 identity theft reports. That totals out to approximately 186.3 complaints per 100,000 individuals. This is in part due to the state’s large population, in part due to the higher than national average unemployment rates, and in part due to the higher than national average poverty rates.
If you have been charged with identity theft in Miami, Florida, you face harsh legal repercussions, as the state has increased its efforts to reduce the amount of identity theft and fraud that occurs within its boundaries. Consult a Miami identity theft lawyer today to see how you can defend yourself against charges of identity theft brought against you.
Identity Theft Crimes Under Florida Law
Under Florida Statute 817.568, a person may be charged with a felony of the first, second or third degree for a number of identity theft crimes, including but not limited to:
- Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information. This crime involves the fraudulent use of, or possession of with intent to use, another individual’s personal identifying information without their consent. Personal identifying information can include name, date of birth, and social security number. Typically, this crime is classified as a third degree felony, but it can rise to a second degree felony if the other person’s personal identifying information is used to obtain something with a value equal or greater to $5,000.
- Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information to Harass. If an individual uses another individual’s personal identification information for the purpose of harassing another individual, the perpetrator will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor.
- Use of a Minor’s Personal Identification Information. If an individual were to use a minor’s personal identification information for their own gain—even if the person using the information were a parent, guardian, or relative—they will be charged with a second-degree felony.
- Use of a Deceased Person’s Personal Identification Information. If an individual is caught fraudulently using a deceased person’s personal identification information, they will be charged with a third degree felony. However, this offense may be charged as a second degree felony if the ID was used to obtain something with a value equal or greater to $5,000. If the deceased individual’s ID was used to obtain something with a value equal or greater to $50,000, the offender will be charged with a first degree felony. If the ID was used to obtain something with a value equal or greater to $100,000, and if the crime involved 30 or more deceased individuals, the offender will be charged with a first degree felony and given a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.
In addition to any criminal punishments that you might face if convicted of identity theft in Miami, Florida, you will also have to deal with the consequences of the charges being on your record. Identity theft charges will make it difficult – if not impossible – to find gainful employment in the future. Furthermore, it will be difficult to open any sort of banking account, to pull out a loan, or even to rent an apartment.
Consult a Miami Identity Theft Lawyer
At The Baez Law Firm, our Miami identity theft lawyers have dealt with several complex cases involving allegations of fraudulent schemes, intentions, and other wrongful appropriations of another individual’s personal information. We have extensive experience in building aggressive defenses for clients charged with identity theft, and have achieved numerous successful outcomes. If you have been charged with identity theft, do not hesitate, and contact our Miami criminal defense law firm at 800-588-BAEZ to schedule your free consultation today.