Crime News

What are the penalties for Identity Theft in Florida?

Identity theft is a huge problem in the United States. The state of Florida is no exception to this rule. There are several laws there that pertain to identity theft, which is relatively broad and can include a number of different crimes. A person who is charged and convicted of identity theft can also receive serious penalties. It’s important to understand the crime and what consequences it holds. 

Identity Theft Involving Use of Personal Identification Information 

A person who uses someone else’s identification information with the intention of using it for fraudulent purposes and doesn’t have that person’s consent is committing the crime of identity theft. Identifying information can include a person’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, mother’s maiden name or anything else that can identify them. A person who commits this crime commits a felony in the third degree. However, if the purpose behind the identity theft involves obtaining property or anything else that has a value greater than $5,000, the crime can be charged as a second-degree felony. Also, someone using personal identification information of 10 to 19 people for criminal intentions is also committing a felony in the second degree. 

Identity theft that involves obtaining the personal identifying information of 20 or more people that garners the criminal $50,000 or more is charged as a first-degree felony. 

Identity Theft Involving Use of a Minor’s Personal Identification Information 

Using the personal identification information of a person under the age of 18 is also considered a second-degree felony in Florida. It doesn’t matter if the individual fraudulently using the information is the minor’s parent or legal guardian. There are severe penalties to anyone using the personal information for criminal purposes without the minor’s permission. 

Using a Deceased Person’s Personal Identification Information 

In Florida, even using a deceased person’s personal identifying information is charged as a felony. If the individual using the information does so in a deliberately fraudulent manner, they are committing a felony in the third degree. If they gain something of value that amounts to $5,000 or more or uses the information of 10 to 19 deceased people, the crime is considered a second-degree felony. They are charged with a first-degree felony if the crime involves obtaining anything worth $50,000 or more when using personal identification information or if using the information of 20 to 29 deceased individuals. 

If the person fraudulently uses the personal information of 30 or more deceased people or gains anything of value worth $100,000 or greater, they are charged with a felony in the first degree and would be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison. 

Counterfeit or Fictitious Personal Identification Information 

If a person uses or possesses counterfeit personal identification information to commit a fraudulent act, it is considered a felony in the third degree. However, there are some circumstances that can elevate the crime to a second- or first-degree felony or even a life-felony. 

Penalties for Identify Theft in Florida 

In Florida, the penalties for identify theft crimes can be considerably harsh. Because many of these crimes are felonies, they can carry significant prison sentences and hefty fines. However, even a misdemeanor charge for identity theft can carry serious penalties. A person who is convicted of one of these crimes can expect the following penalties to be placed against them: 

Prison time: A felony identity theft conviction in Florida can result in as little as one year to as much as 40 or even more years of incarceration in prison. If the individual is convicted of first degree misdemeanor identify theft, they can receive a maximum of one year in jail. 
Fines: A felony conviction for identity theft can carry a fine of up to $15,000. If a person receives a misdemeanor conviction, they can expect a fine of up to $1,000. 
Probation: In addition to prison or jail time and fines, a person convicted of identity theft can also possibly be ordered to serve probation. There are a special set of rules regarding this requirement, typically that the individual must pay fines and restitution. They would also be ordered not to associate with anyone who is a known criminal, must not own or possess firearms and must regularly meet with a probation officer. 
Restitution: Individuals who are convicted of identity theft crimes must also pay restitution to their victims. This is an amount of money meant to compensate the victim, whether a person or a company, in addition to court costs and fines. 

If you have been arrested for identity theft in Florida, contact William Hanlon Criminal Lawyer in Clearwater to prepare your defense. You can discuss your case with him at your earliest convenience.