5th Jul 2016

A South Florida criminal defense attorney can explain that Florida has a number of crimes related to identity theft, including using counterfeit identification or fictitious personal identification information.   A South Florida criminal defense attorney can explain this charge, potential penalties if convicted and the applicability of any defenses.

According to Florida’s statute, it is illegal to use or possess with the intent to use falsified personal identification information.  This is illegal specifically when the defendant uses the information to commit or attempt to commit fraud.  The base level for this offense is a felony in the third degree, but aggravating circumstances can elevate it to a first degree felony.

If convicted of a crime involving identity theft, a defendant can face serious consequences.  Some convictions can result in incarceration of 40 years or more.  Even after release, defendants face continued supervision pursuant to probation.  Conditions of probation may include having to pay all fines and restitution, meeting on a regular schedule with a probation officer, not possessing firearms and not associated with known criminals.  Maximum fines are $15,000, plus any ordered restitution.   Additionally, a criminal record often acts as an impediment to obtaining a good job or accomplishing educational aspirations.

A criminal defense lawyer can review the particular circumstances involved in the case in order to build an effective defense against its prosecution.  He or she can explore all possible defenses that may apply, including showing that the prosecution has failed to meet its hefty burden.  Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer can act on the defendant’s behalf by trying to negotiate a plea bargain that can potentially result in a reduced charge or sentence.

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