Identity theft has been a growing concern in the State of Florida. In 2004, Florida led the nation in identity theft complaints. Law enforcement is striking back by charging defendants at both the State and Federal levels with identity theft related criminal offenses.
Most identity theft schemes involve illegally taking, receiving, or possessing another’s personal information for the purposes of using that information for fraudulent activity.
The penalties imposed for convictions for identity theft can be severe and sometimes can result in mandatory incarceration. In addition, a person who was not a United States citizen could be deported from the U.S. You should contact an attorney with experience in both criminal defense and immigration law for further legal advice.
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Attorney for Identity Theft Charges in Miami, FL
If you were arrested for an identity theft related offense in Miami, Florida, you should immediately contact Hubbs Law. Attorney E.J. Hubbs handles a variety of theft and fraud-related offenses.
It is important for you to have your case evaluated by an experienced attorney. An arrest does not equal a conviction. You may have legal defenses to your charges. You need a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. E.J. Hubbs is “Board Certified” in criminal trial law and has taken over 50 cases to jury trial.
Hubbs Law handles all types of fraud cases in Miami-Dade County, South Miami, North Miami, Doral, Homestead, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, Kendall, and Hialeah, as well as other cities and areas in the Greater Miami Area.
Contact Hubbs Law at (305) 665-9040
to immediately speak with attorney E.J. Hubbs and discuss the facts of your case. Hubbs Law offers free initial consultations for most cases. Call today to schedule your appointment.
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Florida Office of the Attorney General - The Attorney General’s office handles identity theft at the appellate level. Find information on protecting your identity, reporting identity theft, and statistical information for identity theft in Florida.
Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles - The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles issues driver’s licenses in the State of Florida. Find information on reporting identity theft and how to obtain a new driver’s license if your identity is stolen.
Federal Trade Commission - The Federal Trade Commission is a federal agency that is in charge of consumer protection. Find information on reporting and recovering from identity theft.
Source for Free Credit Report- Visit this site to receive a free credit report.
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Penalties for Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information under Florida Law
Under state law, identity theft is generally charged under Florida statute 817.568 which makes it illegal for a person to “willfully and without authorization” to “fraudulently use, or possess with the intent to fraudulently use”, “personal identification information concerning another person without first obtaining that person’s consent”.
The sentence a defendant can receive for a conviction of this crime depends on the circumstances.
- The general charge is a 3rd Degree Felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- If the State can prove that the defendant benefited in the amount of $5,000 or more, or fraudulently used the personal identification of 10-19 individuals, the charge becomes a 2nd Degree Felony punishable by 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A person convicted under these facts is also subjected to a 3-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
- If the State can prove that the defendant benefited in the amount of $50,000 or more, or fraudulently used the personal identification of 20-29 individuals, the charge becomes a 1st Degree Felony punishable by 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A person convicted under these facts is also subjected to a 5-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
- If the State can prove that the defendant benefited in the amount of $100,000 or more, or fraudulently used the personal identification of 30 or more individuals, the charge becomes a 1st Degree Felony punishable by 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A person convicted under these facts is also subjected to a 10-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
In addition to the criminal consequences, a conviction for criminal use of personal identification information can lead to immigration consequences such as being placed in removal proceedings. Under INA 101, a person commits an Aggravated Felony if they are convicted of a “fraud related offense” in which the loss to the victim “exceeds $10,000”.
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Penalties for Identity Theft Charges under Federal Law
Under Federal Law, under 18 U.S.C. 1028, any person who:
- Knowingly and without lawful authority produces an identification document, authentication feature, or a false identification document;
- Knowingly transfers an identification document, authentication feature, or a false identification document knowing that such document was stolen or produced without lawful authority;
- Knowingly possesses with intent to use unlawfully, or transfer unlawfully, 5 or more identification documents, authentication features, or false identification documents;
- Knowingly possesses an identification document, authentication feature, or a false identification document, with the intent such document or feature be used to defraud the United States;
- Knowingly produces, transfers, or possesses a document-making implement or authentication feature with the intent such document-making implement or authentication feature will be used in the production of a false identification document or another document-making implement or authentication feature;
- Knowingly possesses an identification document or authentication feature that is or appears to be an identification document or authentication feature of the United States or a sponsoring entity of an event designated as a special event of national significance which is stolen or produced without lawful authority knowing that such document or feature was stolen or produced without such authority;
- Knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, or in connection with, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law; or
- Knowingly traffics in false or actual authentication features for use in false identification documents, document-making implements, or means of identification
Penalties for violating Federal Law range from 5 to 30 years in prison depending on the seriousness of the crime.
In addition, if a defendant is charged with Aggravated Identity Theft under 18 U.S.C. 1028A, he will be subjected to a two-year minimum mandatory sentence that shall be run consecutively to any other prison sentence on another charge. Non-U.S. citizens may always be placed in removal proceedings based on a conviction for fraud.
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Find an Attorney for Identity Theft Charges in Miami, FL
If you were charged with an Identity Theft Related Offense in Miami, FL you will need quality legal representation. You may have legal defenses related to your case.
E.J. Hubbs defends clients charged with all types of fraud in Miami and throughout Miami-Dade County, including Hialeah, North Miami Beach, Kendall, Homestead, Miami Gardens, South Miami, and North Miami and anywhere else in the area.
At Hubbs Law, your first consultation is always free. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (305) 665-9040