20th Jan 2016

A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can explain that Florida leads the nation in the number of identity theft and fraud cases that occur each year.  While this may be attributed to the greater number of retired individuals in the state, a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale may also blame the high number of identity theft crimes in the state and the complexity of each for this statistic.  Some of the different identity theft laws on the books include:

Criminal Use of Personal Information

This crime is classified as a third-degree felony with the potential to be increased to a second-degree or first-degree felony if a substantial amount of money was stolen.  This crime is characterized as using another’s person’s personal information in order to derive some type of economic benefit, such as money or property.

Criminal Use of Personal Information to Harass

Unlike the above charge, this charge is based on a defendant utilizing another person’s personal information in order to harass him or her.  This crime is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor.

Use of a Deceased Individual’s Information

It is illegal for a person to fraudulently utilize the personal information of a deceased person or possess this information with the intent to fraudulently use it.  This crime is considered a third-degree felony.

Use of a Minor’s Information

Likewise, it is illegal to use a minor’s personal information without his or her consent.  This crime is considered a second-degree felony.  This charge may be lodged against the minor’s guardians if they used the information fraudulently or a third party if he or she did not have the minor or the guardian’s consent to use the information.

False Personation

False personation occurs when a person physically pretends to be someone else in order to obtain an economic benefit.  Depending on the amount in controversy, this crime can be classified as a second-degree misdemeanor all the way up to a first-degree felony.

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