Identity theft crimes happen throughout the country. People can assume someone else’s identity for various reasons, often to obtain money or to achieve some benefit. Local and state law enforcement agencies are cracking down on the widespread crime. However, it sometimes can be difficult because of technological and jurisdictional issues. The crimes are taken seriously, and the penalties can have life-altering consequences.
West Palm Beach Identity Theft Attorney
If you are charged with an identity theft crime in Palm Beach County, you need West Palm Beach identity theft lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Stine is a former public defender with more than 10 years of experience representing people accused of crimes in South Florida. He is passionate about defending your rights.
Call 561.880.4300 to schedule your free case evaluation today. Stine represents clients throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Spring and Tequesta.
Information About Identity Theft in South Florida
- Types of Identity Theft According to Florida Law
- Penalties for Identity Theft in West Palm Beach
- Finding the Best Economic Crime Lawyer in Palm Beach County
Identity theft crimes relate to fraudulently using a person’s identity or unique identifying information to acquire some sort of benefit. The crime most often is used to obtain money or property. Identity theft crimes in Florida can be complex because they can be classified in several different ways, including:
- Criminal Use of Personal Information: Criminal Use of Personal Information means to use a person’s information, including a name, Social Security number, driver’s license number or bank account number, to get some sort of benefit. The benefit could include money or property, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 817.568.
The charge is a third-degree felony, but it can be increased to a second or first-degree felony if a large amount of money was stolen as a result of the identity theft or if there were multiple victims.
- False Personation: False personation means the accused physically presented himself or herself as another person to obtain money or property for their benefit, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 817.02. Depending on the amount of the value taken, the charge could range from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
- Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information to Harass: Using another person’s information without consent in an attempt to harass them is prohibited under Florida law and is a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Use or Possession of a Deceased Person’s Personal Identification Information: In Florida it is a third-degree felony to fraudulently use or possess with intent to use personal identification information of a deceased person.
- Use of a Minor’s Personal Identification Information: Using the personal information of someone younger than 18 years old without the consent of the minor or his or her legal guardian is a second-degree felony, according to Florida law.
In addition, if someone who is the guardian or parent uses the minor’s information in a fraudulent manner, he or she could be charged with a second-degree felony.
- Fictitious or Counterfeit Personal Identification Information: Using or possessing with intent to use fictitious or counterfeit personal information for the purpose of committing fraud is a third-degree felony.
Penalties for identity crimes in Palm Beach County vary per crime. The charges range from second-degree misdemeanor to first-degree felony. Some identity theft charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence, too.
If convicted, you may face:
- First-Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
In some instances, you may be forced to pay restitution to the victims. Restitution could be used to cover the victim’s out-of-pocket expenses plus any other costs he or she incurred because of the crime, including attorney fees, fees used to clear his or her credit report or any other debt from the crime.
Identity theft crimes in Florida are complex. You need an experienced economic crime defense attorney on your case. Andrew D. Stine, P.A. will fight to get the charges dropped or reduced. He will work with you for the best possible outcome in your case. Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a case evaluation.