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Identity Theft

The use of someone else’s personal information can result in any number of charges relating to the theft of identification. This is a very serious crime that can result in state or federal charges—possibly even both.

As technology continues to advance and evolve, the different ways this crime can be committed also continue to grow. However, this has also led to more legal statutes or amendments that define illegal uses of identification and increase penalties for convictions.

Tallahassee Identity Theft Lawyer

If you have been charged with illegally using another person’s identity or personal information, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. Pumphrey Law represents people all over Northern Florida who have been accused of white collar crime.

Our Leon County criminal defense attorneys serve clients in Tallahassee as well as such communities as Monticello in Jefferson County, Bristol in Liberty County, Saint Marks in Wakulla County, and Perry in Taylor County. We are dedicated to pursuing the most favorable outcome to every case we handle, and we can review your case when you call (850) 681-7777 today to schedule a free consultation.


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Leon County Identity Theft Information Center


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Florida Identity Theft Laws

In Chapter 817 of the Florida Statute dedicated to Fraudulent Practices, there are five different theft of identification offense listed under Criminal use of personal identification information in Florida Statute § 817.568:

  • Fraudulent use of personal identification information, Florida Statute § 817.568(2)
    Willful and unauthorized fraudulent use or possession with intent to fraudulently use another person’s personal identification information without first obtaining that person’s consent. The level of the offense for this charge depends on the amount of harm involved:

    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is less than $5,000 and the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of less than 10 individuals, this is a third-degree felony.
    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $5,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 10 or more individuals, but fewer than 20 individuals, this is a second-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.
    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $50,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 20 or more individuals, but fewer than 30 individuals, this is a first-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $100,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of more than 30 individuals, this is a first-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
  • Harassment by use of personal identification information, Florida Statute § 817.568(4)
    Willful and unauthorized possession, use, or attempt to use another person’s personal identification information without first obtaining his or her consent and done for the purpose of harassing that individual. This is a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Fraudulent use or possession with intent to use personal identification information of a minor or elder, Florida Statute § 817.568(6)
    Willful and unauthorized fraudulent use of the personal identification information of a person younger than 18 years of age or 60 years of age or older without first obtaining that person’s consent. This is a second-degree felony.
  • Fraudulent use or possession with intent to use personal identification information of a deceased individual, Florida Statute § 817.568(8)
    Willful and fraudulent use or possession with intent to fraudulently use a deceased person’s personal identification information. The level of the offense for this charge depends on the amount of harm involved:

    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is less than $5,000 and the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of less than 10 individuals, this is a third-degree felony.
    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $5,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 10 or more individuals, but fewer than 20 individuals, this is a second-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.
    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $50,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of 20 or more individuals, but fewer than 30 individuals, this is a first-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
    • If the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $100,000 or more or if the person fraudulently uses the personal identification information of more than 30 individuals, this is a first-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
  • Fraudulent creation or use, or possession with intent to fraudulently use, counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information, Florida Statute § 817.568(9)
    Willful and fraudulent creation, use, or possession with intent to fraudulently use counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information concerning a fictitious individual or a real individual without first obtaining that real individual’s consent and with the intent to use such counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of a fraud on another person. This is a third-degree felony.

Additional theft of identity crimes defined under separate sections of Chapter 817 in the Florida Statutes include:

  • Obtaining property by false personation, Florida Statute § 817.02
    Receiving any property for personal use through false impersonation or representation of another person. A person convicted of this offense is punished as if he or she had been convicted of larceny.
  • Unlawful possession of the personal identification information of another person, Florida Statute § 817.5685
    Intentional or knowing unauthorized possession of another person’s personal identification information—including a person’s social security number, official state-issued or United States-issued driver license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, Medicaid or food assistance account number, bank account number, credit or debit card number, and medical records—in any form, including, but not limited to, mail, physical documents, identification cards, or information stored in digital form. The level of the offense for this charge depends on how much personal information a person is convicted of possessing:

    • Possessing the personal identification information of four or fewer persons is a first-degree misdemeanor.
    • Possessing the personal identification information of five or more persons is a third-degree felony.

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Penalties for Identity Theft in Leon County

While some of the offenses listed above carry mandatory minimum sentences, the maximum allowable punishments by offense are as follows:

  • Petit Larceny or Petit Theft (less than $300)
    Up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000
  • Grand Larceny or Grand Theft (more than $300)
    Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000
  • First-degree misdemeanor
    Up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000
  • Third-degree felony
    Up to five years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000
  • Second-degree felony
    Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000
  • First-degree felony
    Up to 30 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000

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Federal Identity Theft Charges

Certain offenses can result in federal charges, and convictions for these offenses carry even harsher sentences that may include significant fines and possible prison sentences of up to 30 years. Some of the federal laws that have been passed in recent years include:

  • Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998
    Amended Title 18 U.S. Code § 1028 (Fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information) to establish federal offense for identity theft
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003
    Amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to improve protections for identity theft victims, and created responsibilities for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal financial agencies to establish “Red Flag Rules” that require creditors, financial institutions, and other businesses or organizations to implement written identity theft prevention programs
  • Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act of 2004
    Defined and established penalties for aggravated identity theft (using another person’s identity to commit felony crimes)
  • Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2008
    Amended Title 18 U.S.C. § 3663(b) by clarifying and expanding the jurisdiction for multiple cybercrime offenses as well as granting federal courts the authority to require convicted defendants to pay victims indirectly associated costs “equal to the value of the time reasonably spent by the victim in an attempt to remediate the intended or actual harm incurred by the victim from the offense.”

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Florida Identity Theft Defenses

Some of the defenses that can result in these charges being reduced or dismissed can include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of evidence
  • Misidentification
  • No willful intention to defraud or cause harm to another person
  • Personal identification information did not belong to another person
  • Personal identification information was legally acquired through business services
  • Personal identification information was used with the consent of that person

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Find the Best Identity Theft Lawyer in Tallahassee

Pumphrey Law fights criminal charges for clients all over Leon County and surrounding areas such as Madison County, Bay County, and Okaloosa County. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are licensed to practice in all Florida state courts as well as the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

We help people throughout Tallahassee and nearby communities like Callaway, Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Lynn Haven, Mary Esther, Niceville, Panama City, Parker, and Springfield. You can let our firm review your case and explore your legal options when you call (850) 681-7777 to take advantage of a free consultation.