Identity theft is a crime in which a thief uses a person’s personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. Some examples of personal information that thieves can use are social security numbers, credit card information, or driver’s license numbers. Fraudulent activity is becoming more prevalent and widespread now than ever as technology continues to develop and evolve. The state of Florida takes identity theft very seriously. There have been rigorous identity verification procedures to safeguard Floridians from the effects of a stolen identity.
Under Florida Statute 817.568(2), a conviction for fraudulent use of personal identification information is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Florida law also imposes increased penalties if the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is in excess of a specific amount, or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of multiple victims without their consent.
To prove the crime of fraudulent use of personal information, there are a couple of things that the state of Florida must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant willfully and without authorization, fraudulently used or possessed with intent to fraudulently use personal identification information concerning the victim.
- The defendant did so without first obtaining the consent of the victim.
Identity theft victims often don’t know their personal information has been compromised until the damage has already been done. Responding early to a stolen identity is key, but it’s never too late to take action if you have been a victim of identity theft.
If you have been arrested for an identity theft-related offense or if you have been a victim of identity theft in Miami, Florida, it is imperative to have a professional and experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Russell Spatz has over four decades of experience.
To meet with Attorney Russell Spatz to discuss your criminal matter, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200.