Identity theft can result in financial devastation for victims, and for this reason, Florida law criminalizes and imposes severe penalties for several different forms of identity theft. The most important are:
- Criminal use of personal identification information. A person who commits this crime possesses someone’s personal identification without authorization and with an intent to defraud someone. You can commit a felony in the first, second, or third degree, depending on how much monetary benefit you obtained.
- Use of a minor’s personal identification information. A person who commits this crime uses a minor’s personal identification with the intent to defraud someone. The law applies even to parents and guardians.
- Use of a deceased’s personal identification information. A person who commits this crime fraudulently uses or intends to use a dead person’s identification. Depending on how much monetary benefit you obtain, you can face first-, second-, or third-degree felony charges.
- Counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information. A person who commits this crime makes up a person’s identity for fraudulent purposes. Depending on whom they defraud, they can commit a felony in the first, second, or third degree.
- Unlawful possession of personal identification. You can break this law if you simply possess another person’s identification information. It is a misdemeanor if you possess identification for fewer than five persons, but is a third-degree felony if you possess identification for five or more persons.
Will I Go to Jail?
- First-degree felony: 30 years in jail
- Second-degree felony: 15 years in jail
- Third-degree felony: five years in jail
- Misdemeanor: one year in jail
Many factors influence whether you will face jail time, such as the amount of money involved in the offense, your prior criminal history, and the stability of your current life (for example, whether you have a job, family, go to church, etc.). But a prison sentence definitely hangs over your head as a possibility.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
In addition to jail time, you face fines of $10,000 for a felony conviction or $1,000 for a misdemeanor. In addition to any fines, Florida judges can also order restitution if your identity theft caused financial injury to someone else.
Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Today
To protect yourself from the serious charges of identity theft, contact a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Khonsari Law Group have experience providing aggressive criminal defense for those accused of identity theft. Call us today for a free consultation and case evaluation at (727) 269-5300 or complete our online contact form.