Miami Identity Theft Attorney
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in this country. Recent laws have been passed at the state and federal level that consider more circumstances to be identity theft, in addition to instituting heavier penalties for the crimes. If you or someone you know has been charged with identity theft in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or greater Florida area, you need a strong and focused defense for your case. With over twenty years of challenging litigation experience, the Tony Moss Firm, L.L.C. can build the skilled defense that your case requires.
Florida and Federal Identity Theft Law
Florida has multiple statutes that govern the crime and punishments of identity theft. Chapter 817 of the Florida statutes defines the following acts as identity theft offenses:
- Criminal use or possession of personal identification information;
- Criminal use of personal identification information to harass;
- Obtaining property by false personation;
- Use of a minor’s personal identification information;
- Use or possession of a deceased person’s personal identification information; and
- Counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information.
Identity theft is governed on the federal level by the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA). The Act made identity theft a federal crime, established heavy penalties, and closed loopholes that had previously made certain instances of possessing another person’s identity legal. Other federal laws that have been enacted to enforce identity theft are the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, and the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act.
Identity Theft Penalties
Florida established strict penalties for identity theft under Chapter 817 of state law. The punishment for identity theft is different than the normal theft of property, and is much harsher. If found guilty of identity theft under Florida law, the following punishments apply:
- 3rd degree felony: Wilfully using another’s personal identifying information;
- 2nd degree felony: Wilfully using another’s personal identifying information to obtain property worth more than $5,000 OR using the information of 10-19 individuals; and
- 1st degree felony: Wilfully using another’s personal identifying information to obtain property worth more than $50,000 OR using the information of 20 or more individuals.
Each felony comes with a mandatory prison sentence of multiple years, in addition to significant fines. The court may also order you to pay restitution to repay what you have taken. On the federal level, each count of identity fraud under the ITADA can carry a sentence of up to fifteen years in federal prison and substantial fines, in addition to what was imposed on the state level.
A Florida Identity Theft Attorney Can Help
With specialized government units investigating identity theft crimes, harsher laws, and stricter penalties, it is imperative that you have an experienced identity theft defense attorney on your side. If you or a loved one has been charged with identity theft in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or greater Florida area, let the Tony Moss Firm, L.L.C. defend your case with the attention and dedication that it needs. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case. I promise to fight for your rights under the law because fairness and justice are essential human values that we all deserve.