Orlando Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft has steadily risen virtually every year in the past few decades. To be sure, 16.7 million Americans were the victims of identity theft in 2017 alone, according to CBS News. Methods used to gain personal information, which includes credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, tax ID numbers, and much more, include the following:
- Large data breaches;
- Phishing scams;
- Mail theft;
- Hacking through unsecured internet connections;
- Phone scams; and
- Email scams.
The use of the information stolen is either to sell it to another party, or to directly steal from the victim by way of using their credit card, filing a tax return, or other illegal acts. Because identity theft is such a growing problem in our state and around the country, Florida has imposed strict penalties on those charged with identity theft. If you are one of those people, you must call the Orlando identity theft lawyers of the O’Mara Law Group right away.
Criminal Penalties for Identity Theft in Florida
Under Florida statute 817.668, identity theft is defined as the fraudulent use of or possession of another person’s personal identifying information without the person’s consent. Intent to use this information fraudulently is also a violation of this statute. Personal identifying information includes everything from a driver’s license, bank account number, and mother’s maiden name, to a passport number, name, mailing address, email address, and much more. It is a third degree felony to fraudulently use, intent to use, or to possess another’s personal ID, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. However, this is the least serious level of identity theft. If the victim is a minor, the penalty is increased to a second degree misdemeanor. Similarly, if the victim is 60 years old or older, the penalty is increased to a second degree felony. Moreover, the amount of pecuniary gain and number of victims also determines the degree of punishment.
Second Degree Felony for Theft of $5,000 or More: Use of another’s personal identifying information to obtain property valued at $5,000 or more. Punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000;
First Degree Felony for 20 or More Victims: Identity theft of 20 or more people, resulting in a pecuniary gain of $5,000 or greater. Punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Harassment by Use of Personal Identifying Information
The use of another’s stolen identity for the purpose of harassing them is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
Our Orlando Identity Theft Attorneys Will Aggressively Defend Your Rights
Identity theft in Florida, even though it is a non violent offense, is a serious crime, and can be punished on the same level of violent offenses like strong arm robbery, aggravated assault, and carjacking. If you have been arrested for any type of identity theft, you need experienced legal representation. Do not waste anymore time. Contact the Orlando law offices of the O’Mara Law Group today. Call us at 407-413-882 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced identity theft defense attorneys.