Identity Theft Lawyer in Miami, FL
Whether you or a loved one has been arrested or is under investigation for identity theft, it is critical to consult with an experienced identity theft attorney in Miami as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. You need the counsel of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your criminal charges with a favorable outcome.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a crime involving using another individual’s personal identification information without their permission or lawful authority. An individual commits this felony when they forge someone else’s signature or when they use someone else’s name, address, social security number, or other personal information. Identity theft is prosecuted in both state and federal courts. The law criminalizing identity theft on the state level is Florida Statute §817.568. Like the federal law criminalizing identity theft, Florida law provides for mandatory minimum prison sentences in certain circumstances. The federal identity theft law is found at 18 U.S.C. §1028. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors aggressively prosecute identity fraud cases because of the financial harm that victims of identity theft can suffer. Because of the serious penalties in identity theft cases, you should seek immediate legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. A strong defense strategy and early investigation are essential to the outcome of a client’s case at our law firm.
Examples of Identity Theft
Identity theft charges in Florida cover a broad range of unlawful activities. These may include committing fraud by impersonating someone else or using someone else’s personal information without their consent. Some common examples of identity theft include:
- Falsely applying for a loan, credit card, or credit line
- Fraudulently withdrawing funds from someone’s bank account
- Falsely opening a bank account in someone’s name
- Fraudulently using someone’s online accounts
- Fraudulently filing a tax return in someone’s name to obtain a tax refund
- Fraudulently obtaining false identification document in someone’s name (e.g., driver’s license, social security card, immigration documents)
There are many reasons why people steal the identities of others, and these reasons can influence charges and sentences. In addition to identity theft, prosecutors can also bring additional charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, credit card fraud, organized fraud, tax fraud, RICO, and conspiracy. If not properly defended, these charges can lead to years of imprisonment. If you have been accused of identity theft, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you determine your best options.
Penalties for Identity Theft under Florida Law
Any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning another person without first obtaining that person’s consent commits the offense of fraudulent use of personal identification information, which is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years prison time and a $5,000 fine.
Florida Mandatory Minimum Penalties
• Defendants are punished with up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if the State can prove a financial gain of $5,000 or more or fraudulently used 10-19 individuals’ personal identification information (second-degree felony). In addition, those convicted of this offense must serve a minimum of three years in prison.
• Defendants are punished with up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 if the State can prove a personal gain of $50,000 or more or fraudulently used 20-29 individuals’ personal identification information (first-degree felony). In addition, those convicted of this offense must serve a minimum of five years in prison.
• Defendants are punished with up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if the State can prove a pecuniary benefit of $100,000 or more or fraudulently used 30 or more individuals’ personal identification information (first-degree felony). In addition, those convicted of this offense must serve a minimum of ten years in prison.
Federal Identity Theft Penalties
Depending on the severity of the offense, federal criminal violations can result in penalties ranging from 5 to 30 years in prison. Furthermore, if the defendant is charged with aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. 1028A, if convicted, they will be subject to a minimum mandatory sentence of two years, which must run consecutively to any other prison sentence imposed for the same offense. Also, if there are multiple counts of aggravated identity theft, each county must run consecutively. For example, if a federal defendant faces a sentence of 27-33 months for wire fraud and also receives criminal convictions for five counts of aggravated identity theft (one for each victim), they would face a ten-year mandatory prison sentence that must be served consecutive to the 27-33 month sentence.
Contact an Experienced Miami Identity Theft Attorney
By taking the immediate action of hiring an experienced Miami identity theft attorney to defend yourself, you are minimizing the chances that your criminal case will have lasting consequences for your career, personal life, and reputation.
Over the years, we have represented hundreds of clients in a wide range of cases. There is a good chance that we have dealt with your type of case and have represented clients who shared similar needs and concerns that you may have. Feel free to browse through the results section of our site for a representative sample of some of our past cases and the results we have achieved for our clients.
CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545, or simply take a moment to fill out our confidential and secure intake form.* The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.
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