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Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification Attorneys in Orlando, FL

Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification in Florida: A Comprehensive Guide by Leppard Law, Orlando’s Premier Criminal Defense Attorney

Under Sec. 817.568, Florida Statutes, the elements of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification (commonly known as Identity Fraud) in Florida are:

  • A person fraudulently used, or possessed with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information of another person; AND
  • The use or possession was done willfully, without authorization, and without the other person’s consent.

The law defines personal identification information broadly as any name or number that can be used to help identify a specific person. It includes mailing addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, biometric data, medical records, any information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources, and so on.

Penalties for Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification in Florida

The penalties for Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification vary depending on the value of the fraud and how many individuals’ information was used to perpetrate the fraud.

Note, however, that Florida law requires an extra fine (or “surcharge”) of $1,001 for any conviction of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification, in addition to the applicable penalties listed below.

Note, however, that Florida law requires an extra fine (or “surcharge”) of $1,001 for any conviction of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification, in addition to the applicable penalties listed below.

Fraud Value/Victims Penalty
Less than $5,000 and Less than 10 Victims* Third-degree felony, up to 5 years of prison or probation, and a $5,000 fine.
$5,000 or More or Between 10 and 19 Victims Second-degree felony, up to 15 years of prison or probation, and a $10,000 fine. Minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years of imprisonment.
$50,000 or More or Between 20 and 29 Victims First-degree felony, up to 30 years of prison or probation, and a $10,000 fine. Minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years of imprisonment.
$100,000 or More or 30 or More Victims First-degree felony, up to 30 years of prison or probation, and a $10,000 fine. Minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years of imprisonment.

*The charge carries a severity level of 4 (or 22 points) under the Criminal Punishment Code. Assuming there are no aggravating circumstances (such as prior criminal convictions), there is no minimum mandatory sentence. This means that even though the judge can sentence you up to the maximum prison time, the judge is not required to order any amount of prison time.

How Can I Fight a Charge of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification in Florida?

There are several defenses that can be used when charged with Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification in Florida. These defenses can be complex and require a deep understanding of the law, making it crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney like Leppard Law on your side.

Abandonment: Under Florida law, even if you take steps to attempt to commit a crime, you cannot be found guilty if you abandoned the crime before it is completed. It must be clear that you completely abandoned any criminal intent and that the abandonment was voluntary. For example, abandonment is not a defense if bad weather prevented you from committing a crime, or if police stopped you before you could complete the crime.

Consent: Because the lack of the alleged victim’s consent is an element of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification, you cannot be found guilty if the State fails to prove that you lacked consent to use personal information.

Proving Value of Fraud: If your charge is based on the value of the fraud, then part of the State’s burden is proving that value beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, if you are charged with fraud of $5,000 or more, but the State does not prove the property is worth that much or the value of the property can’t be determined, then you can only be found guilty of fraud of less than $5,000, which is punished less severely.

Motion to Suppress: This is a request made by a defendant in a trial to exclude certain evidence from consideration by the judge or jury. It is generally made on the grounds that the evidence was obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights. For instance, if the evidence was obtained through an illegal search or seizure, it may be suppressed.

Alibi Defense: An alibi defense is based on the premise that the defendant was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed. If you can provide evidence that you were not at the scene of the crime when it occurred, this can be a powerful defense.

Other potential defenses include moving to throw out evidence that was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights, showing that there is no evidence supporting the charge, or showing that you have an alibi.

FAQs

1. Is it still considered Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification if I didn’t know the information belonged to someone else?

Yes, ignorance is typically not a defense in these cases. The law focuses on whether you used or intended to use the information fraudulently, regardless of whether you knew the information belonged to someone else.

2. Can I be charged with Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification if I found someone’s ID and used it?

Yes, using someone else’s identification information without their consent, regardless of how you obtained it, can lead to charges of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification.

3. What should I do if my personal identification information has been used fraudulently?

If you believe your personal identification information has been used fraudulently, you should report it to your local law enforcement agency and contact any affected financial institutions. You may also want to consider legal counsel to understand your rights and potential remedies.

4. How can I protect myself from becoming a victim of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification?

Protecting your personal information is crucial. This can include regularly checking your financial statements for unusual activity, not sharing personal information unless necessary, and using secure and private internet connections when providing personal information online.

5. What is the process after being charged with Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification?

After being charged, you will likely have a court hearing where the charges will be read to you, and you’ll have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. It’s crucial to have legal representation to navigate the legal process and build a defense strategy.

Contact Leppard Law Now to Fight Your Criminal Case

Fraud is becoming increasingly common in Florida. A conviction can lead to imprisonment and significant fines. If you have been arrested for the Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification, it is essential that you retain the services of an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney. Leppard Law: Florida DUI Lawyers & Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC routinely defends against the fraudulent use of personal identification in the Central Florida area, which includes Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County, Brevard County, Lake County, Volusia County, and Osceola County. We have a proven track record of providing aggressive and professional representation to our clients and will surely work tirelessly to protect your rights.

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