The state of Florida has several laws that target identity theft. Anyone committing identity theft in the state could be charged with one or more of the following crimes.
For more information about identity theft crimes, read The Crime of Identity Theft.
Anyone who fraudulently uses, or possesses with the intent to fraudulently use, someone else’s personal identifying information and who doesn’t have consent of the owner commits the crime of fraudulent use of personal identification information.
Identifying information includes a person’s name, telephone number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, driver’s license number, state identification number, or any other piece of information that can identify a person. Anyone committing criminal use of personal identification commits a third-degree felony.
Anyone who uses someone else’s personal identifying information to obtain property or anything of value worth more than $5,000 commits a second-degree felony.
If the identity theft involved the personal identifying information of 10 to 19 individuals, the crime is a second-degree felony.
If the identity theft involved the personal information of 20 or more individuals, or resulted in a pecuniary gain of $50,000 or more, the crime is a first-degree felony.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568)
Anyone who falsely presents his or herself as another person, or who in any way impersonates another person to obtain property, commits the crime of larceny. Larceny is punishable as either a felony or misdemeanor offense, depending on the value or type of the property taken.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.02)
Anyone who uses someone else’s personal identifying information without that person’s permission in an attempt to harass that person commits the crime of criminal use of personal identification information to harass. Using personal identifying information to harass someone is a first-degree misdemeanor.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(4))
It’s a second-degree felony in Florida to willfully and fraudulently use the personal information of a person under the age of 18 without that person’s permission, or the permission of the minor’s parent or legal guardian. It is also a second-degree felony if a parent or guardian uses the child’s personal identifying information fraudulently and without the child’s permission.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(6))
Anyone who uses, or possess with the intent to use, the personal identifying information of a deceased person commits a third-degree felony in Florida. Anyone who uses that information to fraudulently obtain goods or services worth $5,000 or more, or use the information of between 10 and 19 individuals, commits a second-degree felony.
If the value of the goods or services obtained is $50,000 or more, or the personal identification information used if from between 20 and 29 deceased people, it is a first-degree felony offense.
Using the personal identification information of 30 or more deceased people, or using that information to obtain $100,000 or more in pecuniary benefit, is a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(8))
Anyone who uses, or possess with the intent to use, falsified or fictitious personal identification information in order to commit a fraud commits the crime of counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information. This crime is a third-degree felony, but depending on the circumstances it can also be charged as a second-degree felony, first-degree felony, or a life-felony.
(Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(9))
Committing an identity theft crime in Florida can lead to significant penalties. In general, misdemeanors have less serious penalties associated with them than felonies, but both can result in significant fines or incarceration sentences. For additional information about Florida criminal penalties read Florida Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences and Florida Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Florida’s identity theft laws are very tough, imposing significant penalties against those convicted. Anytime you’re facing an identity theft investigation or have been charged with a crime, you must speak to an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer at your earliest possible opportunity. If you make any decisions about your case or choose to speak to investigators without the advice of counsel, you can harm your ability to defend yourself against any identity theft charges.