Identity theft is considered a serious crime that can have a devastating impact on your life. It can take years to repair the damage caused by identity theft, and it can be extremely difficult to get your good name back. If you have been charged with identity theft, you need a Fort Myers identity theft lawyer from Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys At Law, who is ready to help defend you and your rights.
Call Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys At Law today at (800) 614-5138 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our identity theft attorney in Fort Myers.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a criminal act that often involves the unauthorized acquisition and use of someone else's personal information, such as their name, social security number, bank account details, or credit card details, with the intent to commit fraud, theft, or other unlawful activities. This crime can take various forms, including:
- Financial Identity Theft: This occurs when a person's financial information is stolen to make unauthorized transactions, open credit accounts, or withdraw funds from their bank account.
- Criminal Identity Theft: In this case, the identity thief commits crimes under the stolen identity, leading to wrongful accusations and potential legal consequences for the victim.
- Medical Identity Theft: The perpetrator uses another person's identity to acquire medical services, prescription drugs, or insurance coverage, potentially endangering the victim's health and finances.
- Tax Identity Theft: Identity thieves file fraudulent tax returns using the victim's information to claim refunds, causing financial harm to the victim and legal complications with tax authorities.
What are the Penalties for Identity Theft in Florida?
Identity theft is a crime taken seriously in Florida, and the penalties can be severe. The specific penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case and the extent of the theft.
In Florida, identity theft is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. However, if the identity theft involved 10 or more victims, it becomes a second-degree felony, carrying a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Furthermore, if the identity theft resulted in financial loss to the victim, the court may order the perpetrator to pay restitution, covering the victim's losses, which can be substantial. It's important to note that the penalties can increase if the identity theft involves other criminal activities, such as credit card fraud, forgery, or cybercrime.
Defenses Against Identity Theft Charges
Some common defenses against identity theft charges may include:
- Lack of Intent: Proving that you did not have the intention to commit identity theft can be a valid defense. Sometimes, individuals may mistakenly acquire or use another person's information without criminal intent.
- Mistaken Identity: Demonstrating that you were wrongly accused or that there was a case of mistaken identity is another potential defense. We can thoroughly investigate the evidence against you and challenge any inaccuracies.
- Consent: If you had the victim's consent to use their information, this can serve as a valid defense. We can work to gather evidence of consent to support your case.
- Procedural Violations: If law enforcement violated your rights during the investigation or arrest, we can challenge the admissibility of evidence in court.
- Identity Theft Victim Status: If you were a victim of identity theft yourself and were forced to use another person's information to protect your own identity, we can argue that you should not be held responsible for the actions taken under duress.
Contact Our Identity Theft Attorney in Fort Myers Today
If you or a loved one is facing identity theft charges in Florida, it's crucial to act quickly and pursue legal representation from an experienced attorney. At Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys At Law, we understand the complexities of identity theft cases and are committed to providing you with a strong defense. Our Fort Myers identity theft lawyer will work tirelessly to safeguard your rights and help you navigate the legal system.
Contact Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys At Law today to get started with our Fort Myers identity theft lawyer.
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