Charges of identity theft can result in serious legal consequences in Florida. Understanding these crimes can help you defend against these accusations.
Review the laws about identity theft in Florida if facing this type of criminal investigation.
Defining identity theft
Florida considers identity theft any unauthorized use of someone else’s identifiable information for personal gain without consent. In addition to name, address and Social Security number, identifiable information could include a passport number, driver’s license number, immigrant registration number, taxpayer ID, bank account or credit card number, or government benefit ID. The use of counterfeit information also falls into the category of identity theft.
An offender does not necessarily need to use someone else’s information to receive a conviction for identity theft. Possessing the information with the intent to use it constitutes a crime in Florida.
Degrees of identity theft
Generally, identity theft is a third-degree felony in Florida. A convicted individual may receive a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison. Some cases carry elevated penalties. Second-degree felony charges can result from theft of more than $5,000 or cases involving 10 to 20 victims. Florida mandates at least three years in prison for a second-degree ID theft conviction.
For identity theft of more than $50,000 or affecting 20 to 30 victims, the state mandates first-degree felony charges with a minimum of five years in prison, which increases to 10 years for fraud exceeding $100,000 or affecting more than 30 individuals.
Some people may face federal identity theft charges. For example, crimes using computers often have victims across state lines.