Florida Identity Theft Charges And Penalties + Statute Of Limitations
Florida has a number of different laws that cover identity theft. If someone is suspected of committing identity theft, they can be charged with a number of crimes. These include:
• Criminal use of personal identification information – the fraudulent use, or possession intending to fraudulently use, the identifying information of another person with their consent. This includes details such as a telephone number, name, date of birth, driver’s license number, mother’s maiden name or any other information relating to someone’s identity. This is classed as a third degree felony. It is a second degree felony if property is obtained through the information worth more than $5,000. If the personal information was related to between 10 and 19 people, it is also a second degree felony. If more than 20 people were involved, or if the value is $50,000 or more, it is a first degree felony.
• Obtaining property by false impersonation – when people impersonate someone, or present themselves as being someone else, with the intent of obtaining property, it is classed as larceny. This can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type and value of the property.
• Criminal use of personal identification information to harass – when people use the identifying information of someone else without being permitted to do so, and uses this for harassment. This is classed as a first degree misdemeanor.
• Use of a minor’s personal identification information – when people use the personal information of someone under the age of 18 without their, or their guardian’s permission. This is classed as second degree felony.
• Use of a deceased’s personal identification information – if people use, or intend to use, the personal information of someone who is deceased in order to obtain goods. If the goods are worth more than $5,000, or if the information pertains to between 10 and 19 people, it is classed as a second degree felony. If the value of the goods is above $50,000, or if between 20 and 29 people were involved, it is classed as a first degree felony. If the value is above $100,000, or if more than 30 people were involved, it is a first degree felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.
• Counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information – when people use fictitious or falsified personal information in order to commit fraud. This is classed as a third degree felony, although it can, depending on circumstances, become a second or first degree felony, or even a life felony.
Laws and Penalties
The laws and penalties depend in the crime that someone is charged with. However, most commonly, the penalties include:
• A prison sentence of between one and 40 years. First degree misdemeanors carry a maximum of one year prison sentence.
• A fine of up to $15,000. Misdemeanors carry a maximum fine of $1,000.
• Probation, either on top of or separately from the prison term and/or fines. Probation means having to abide by various conditions, including paying restitution and fines, regular meetings, disassociation with other criminals and not being allowed to own or use firearms.
• Restitution, where the money that the victim of identity theft, whether an individual or organization, is paid back. This is a type of compensation and goes above and beyond the court costs and fines.
Identity Theft Defenses
There are two common defenses against identity theft:
• No unlawful purpose or fraudulent intent, which means they claim that they did have permission to use the personal information with which they obtained goods.
• Interactive software provider or computer service, which happens when providers use other people’s information within a legal framework. They are not allowed to sell this information intending to commit fraud and they must prove that no fraudulent intent existed.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the statute of limitations for an identity theft case stands at three years. If it is charged at federal level, however, this can be extended. Additionally, this can be tolled if the offender is out of state.
Identity Theft Cases
• Jacksonville man sentenced to prison for identity theft – A man received 20 months in a federal prison for his role in an identity theft scheme and trying to pass counterfeit checks.
• Florida is No. 1 in the sun on fraud, ID theft – It has been determined that Florida is the worst state in the country for identity theft. So much so that the IRS has provided people with free identity theft protection kits.
• Victims Of Social Security Number Theft Find It’s Hard To Bounce Back – The Anthem health insurance database was hacked and it seems that the information gained from this is being used to put in fraudulent welfare claims.
• Thieves are preying on your child’s identity – Some 52,000 children each year become victims of identity theft.
• Jacksonville woman pleads guilty to conspiracy to defraud U.S., ID theft – A woman has plea guilt to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.