Identity theft is a serious crime that involves the deliberate use of someone else’s personal information without their permission, usually to obtain money or credit. The State of Florida has several laws that target multiple forms of identity theft including but not limited to the criminal use of personal identification to harass someone, use of a deceased’s personal identification information, and use of falsified or fictitious personal identification information. Any one of these actions can result in serious fines, incarceration, and restitution orders.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can defend against accusations of identity theft in the Sunshine State. If you have been accused of identity theft, consult an experienced, aggressive federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm as soon as possible.
Related: Identity Theft: What You Should Know if You’ve Been Accused of Stealing Someone’s Identity
Single-handedly, the most important step of developing a defense against accusations of identity theft is to connect with a federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg to review the specifics of your case. The severity of the crime will determine the severity of your punishment. Before you work to reduce or eliminate these charges, you must understand the weight of the crime.
Committing credit card fraud two or fewer times in any six-month period, for example, is considered a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one-year prison and a $1,000 fine under Florida Statute 817.61. However, if credit card fraud is committed two or more times, or you obtain goods, money, or services valued at $100 or greater, then you’re considered to be committing a third-degree felony punishable by up to a five-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. Don’t move forward with the defense of your case without the assistance of an experienced identity theft lawyer.
Related: Credit Card Fraud: How One Swipe Can Lead to a Felony
Once you and your federal criminal defense lawyer understand the specifics of your case, then you can move forward with developing a strong defense strategy. The right strategy for you will depend on the circumstances of your case and make use of any available evidence. For example, let’s say you have the same name as another employee at your company. If you receive some of his or her identifying information and unknowingly use this information to conduct personal and/or professional business, you have enough evidence to demonstrate that you did not intend to steal someone else’s identifying information.
A similar defense strategy can be utilized if you have been accused of identity theft on account of sensitive banking information belonging to another individual that was delivered to your home due to a post office error. If you can prove that this information was sent to your home by mistake, it will be difficult for a court of law to demonstrate that you intentionally committed identity theft. Other defenses for identity theft charges include authorization, lack of fraudulent intent, no intent, and improper search. To avoid being at increased risk of conviction of identity theft, contact a federal criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm.
For a free consultation with a federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.