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Identity Theft

Law enforcement agencies are aggressively pursuing charges for individuals who have been accused of identity theft crimes. The crimes are difficult for law enforcement agencies because of technological and jurisdictional issues involved. However, agencies throughout the country, including Broward County, have specialized units to investigate these types of offenses.

Fort Lauderdale Identity Theft Lawyer

If you are charged with identity theft in Broward County, you need a Fort Lauderdale identity theft lawyer who understands complex white collar crime cases. Attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have decades of combined experience in criminal cases and will aggressively represent you.

Meltzer & Bell is a client-driven firm that will be available to you 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Meltzer & Bell represents people throughout Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Coral Springs, Hollywood and surrounding areas. Call (954) 765-6585 to discuss your defense.

Information About Identity Theft in Florida

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Types of Identity Theft under Florida Law

Identity theft crimes relate to fraudulently using a person’s identity or identifying information to obtain some sort of benefit. Identity theft crimes in Florida can be complex because there are a variety of different charges, including:

False Personation: False personation means the accused presented himself or herself as another person to obtain money or property for their benefit, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 817.02. The charge could range from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree felony, depending on the amount of the value taken.

Criminal Use of Personal Information: Criminal Use of Personal Information means to use a person’s personal information, including a name, Social Security number, driver’s license number or bank account number, to obtain money, property or some other benefit, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 817.568. The charge is a third degree felony, but it can be a second or first degree felony if a large amount of money was taken or there were multiple victims.

Use or Possession of a Deceased Person’s Personal Identification Information: According to Florida law, it is illegal to fraudulently use or possess with intent to use personal identification information of a deceased individual. The crime is considered a felony of the third degree.

Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information to Harass: Using another person’s personal information without consent in an attempt to harass them is prohibited under Florida law. The charge is considered a first-degree misdemeanor.

Use of a Minor’s Personal Identification Information: Using the personal information of someone younger than 18 years old without the consent of the minor or his or her legal guardian is illegal, according to state law, and is considered a felony of the second degree.

Fictitious or Counterfeit Personal Identification Information: Using or possessing with intent to use fictitious or counterfeit personal information for the purpose of committing fraud is illegal and is a felony of the third degree.

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Punishments for Identity Theft in Fort Lauderdale

Identity theft crimes can range from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree felony in Florida. The penalties for identity theft crimes in Fort Lauderdale vary depending on the offense, and in some cases you may be required to pay restitution to the victims.

If convicted, you may face:

  • First Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Second Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500

Some identity theft charges have a mandatory minimum prison sentence. For example, Criminal Use of Personal Information carries a minimum three-year sentence if the crime involved $5,000 or more, or if it involved the information of 10 to 20 people without their consent.

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Finding the Best Identity Theft Attorney in Broward County

Identity theft crimes often are complex and can be divided into a plethora of charges in Florida. Meltzer & Bell represents clients who have been charged with identity theft throughout Broward County and can help you build a thorough defense. Call (954) 765-6585 to schedule a free consultation. The Fort Lauderdale identity theft lawyers are available for assistance 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

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