Orlando Identity Theft Attorney
In Florida and around the country, identity theft is a crime that is on the increase and involves using another individual's personal identification information without that person's permission or authority. This felony offense may occur when someone forges another person's signature, or uses someone else's credit card, name, address, or other personal data. Identity theft may be charged at the state or federal level, either under Florida Statute §817.568 or federal law 18 U.S.C. §1028. Regardless of how minor or serious your situation may seem, it is vital that you consult with an experienced and aggressive Orlando identity theft attorney right away. At Adams & Luka, we know the importance of early investigation and mounting a solid defense strategy to the outcome of our client's case.
Some examples of the various forms of identity theft include:
- Credit card theft
- Writing forged checks, or check fraud
- Identity theft on the Internet, often federal charges
- Altered or counterfeit credit cards
- Mortgage applications that are fraudulent, or other bank theft
- Forging or creating documents including checks, birth certificates, passports, driver's licenses, etc.
- Opening lines of credit or securing a loan using someone else's social security number
- Using a deceased person's personal identification information to file fraudulent returns with the IRS
As is evident, there are many forms of identity theft that can occur, some with the help of a computer and ever-increasing technology, others without.
In prosecuting individuals accused of identity theft in Florida, the state considers not only the actions the offender allegedly took, but the impact those actions had on the victims as well, as many of these offenses can do substantial harm to the victim's credit rating.Defenses to Charges of Identity Theft in Florida
There are many effective defense strategies used by Orlando criminal defense attorneys to protect clients from a conviction, and the resulting criminal penalties. Some of the most common defenses include, but are not limited to:
- Mistaken identity - you were falsely accused
- Any personal identification you collected was not used for an unlawful purpose
Capable defense lawyers who represent individuals charged with identity theft will often challenge any evidence brought forth by prosecutors, looking for weaknesses in the case such as lack of intent, violations of the defendant's Constitutional rights by law enforcement, and more.,Criminal Penalties for Identity Theft in Orlando & Central Florida
The criminal penalties a defendant may face if convicted of identity theft depend on various factors, including whether the accused is tried at the state or federal level. Misdemeanor charges typically result in less damaging penalties than a conviction on felony charges. Generally speaking, penalties may include:
Prison or jail time. Depending on whether you are convicted of a first degree misdemeanor or felony identity theft, jail/prison time may range from up to one year (misdemeanor) to 40 years or more for a felony conviction.
Probation. You may be ordered to serve probation along with jail or prison time, or separate from incarceration and/or fines. Probation results in restrictions such as not owning/possessing firearms or associating with individuals who are known to be criminals. You may also be required to pay restitution and fines, or meet other specified conditions set forth by the court.
Fines. The maximum fine for a misdemeanor conviction is $1,000. If convicted of felony identity theft, you may face maximum fines of $15,000.
Restitution. Many courts order the defendant to pay restitution, which simply compensates the individual or organization who lost money due to the crime committed. Restitution is payment separate from court costs or other fines.Contact Adams & Luka Today
Without a qualified Orlando identity theft attorney, your future, freedom, career, and even your reputation are at risk. At Adams & Luka, we are committed to fully informing our clients about the criminal justice system, legal options, and helping you make the best decisions so that your desired outcome is reached. For unsurpassed legal counsel and a free consultation, call us now at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.