- posted: Oct. 15, 2023
- Criminal Defense
Identity theft is a serious white-collar crime for which prosecution is growing across the United States. It is defined as the unauthorized use of someone else's personal information, such as their name, Social Security number, credit card number, or bank account number, for fraudulent purposes. Identity theft can be used to open new accounts, make purchases, or apply for loans in the victim's name.
In Florida, identity theft prosecutions are likewise on the increase. According to a recent article in the South Florida Reporter, Florida ranks second in the nation for white-collar crime, including identity theft. In 2022, there were over 100,000 identity theft cases reported in Florida.
Identity theft is a serious crime with serious consequences. If you are convicted, you could face a lengthy prison sentence, heavy fines and a permanent criminal record. A criminal record can make it difficult to find employment, housing, and credit.
In Florida, identity theft is a felony, with the degree depending on the value of the property involved. For example, if you use someone else's credit card to make a purchase of less than $20,000, you could be charged with a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If you use someone else's credit card to make a purchase of more than $20,000, you could be charged with a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
If you are charged with identity theft in Florida, it is important to contact a qualified white collar crime defense attorney as soon as possible. There are a number of defenses that may be available. For example, you may be able to argue that you were mistaken identity, that you did not have the necessary intent to commit a crime, or that you were coerced into committing the crime.
An experienced attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf to try to get your charges reduced or dismissed. If you are convicted of identity theft, an attorney can help you mitigate your sentence and seek alternatives to incarceration.
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. in Orlando represents people facing white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions throughout central Florida. Call us at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.