Criminal Defense Attorney For Identity Theft
Due to the various methods and lucrative possibilities of identity theft, cases have been steadily increasing over the past decade. Because of the far-reaching effects for both individuals and businesses, lawmakers have enacted stricter laws, and authorities aggressively pursue perpetrators. The severity of identity theft charges vary, but consequences can include large fines and several years in prison if convicted.
If you have been charged with identity theft, your best course of action is to work with a criminal defense attorney who is experienced and will dedicate themselves to your case. Adam Stout can be that person for you. He will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive a fair trial.
Don’t put off making this vital decision — contact our Gainesville law firm today to request a free consultation.
What Is Identity Theft?
Under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA), identity theft occurs when someone “knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law."
Personal identification can include another person’s social security number, birth date, address, phone number, and unlawful activity, including making purchases or obtaining credit cards, loans, utility services, or unemployment benefits under that person’s information.
Types Of Identity Theft
- Possessing or using personal identification information without permission. This can include a social security number, birth certificate, driver’s license, and credit or debit card information. It doesn’t matter if you purchased, stole, or were given the information — if you used or obtained any of it illegally, this is considered identity theft.
- Possessing or using personal identification information of a deceased person. Even if the person was a relative or friend, using a dead person’s personal identification information is illegal.
- Falsely impersonating another person. Using another person’s information to pose as them to obtain property, income tax, unemployment, or other benefits is illegal. Falsely impersonating someone else to acquire property is considered larceny and can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the property’s value. Misdemeanor identity theft can carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Using personal identification information to harass someone. This can include stalking someone online to find their address or phone number and is considered misdemeanor identity theft.
- Using a child’s personal identification information illegally. Even if the child is yours, you cannot use their information to open credit lines or take out mortgages in their name.
- Counterfeit personal identification information. Creating or possessing false or duplicate identification information with the intent to use it fraudulently.
Florida Identity Theft Laws
The criminal use of personal identification information is a third-degree felony in Florida under Florida Statute § 817.568(2)(b). However, the degree of the felony can increase depending on the crime’s impact, which includes:
- Second-Degree Felony: Using personal identifying information to obtain property valued at more than $5,000 or using personal identifying information of 10 to 19 individuals.
- First-Degree Felony: Using personal identifying information to obtain property valued at more than $50,000 or using personal identifying information of 20 or more individuals.
A conviction for felony identity theft can include a prison sentence ranging from one to more than 40 years and up to $15,000 in fines. Additionally, both misdemeanor and felony identity theft convictions can include probation and restitution.
Fighting Identity Theft Charges
An experienced identity theft lawyer will be able to investigate the details of any charges brought against you and can work with experts in the fields of computer science, forensics, handwriting, and more to ensure that no stone is left unturned. Facing federal charges of identity theft can leave you feeling overwhelmed and alone, but you can depend on Stout Defense, P.A., to be by your side throughout the entire process. We will use several defense strategies and techniques to work for you.