The rapid expansion of technology has increased the prevalence of certain crimes. White-collar criminal activities have thrived as it has become easier to manipulate the identifying information of others. Although it has always been a common criminal offense, the threat of identity theft has only increased in recent years.
With this being the case, law enforcement has ramped up their efforts to find and prosecute those suspected of identity theft in the state of Florida. This heightened awareness and vigilance means that any indication of identity theft will be investigated and pursued if they can find evidence of wrongdoing.
If you have been accused of identity theft, taking action and protecting your name and freedom is paramount. Acquiring the legal representation of a qualified criminal defense attorney is the first step you should take following an arrest.Jacksonville Identity Theft Attorney
Considering the complex nature of a white-collar crime such as identity theft, having a knowledgeable legal resource at your side is essential. The interpretation of Florida law requires a trained eye that can use the legal wording to their advantage while at the same time implementing this understanding to argue against the accusations.
William Roelke has been serving Northeastern Florida residents for over a decade and has a great deal of experience with identity theft defense cases. As a skilled and proactive Jacksonville white-collar defense attorney, William can provide comprehensive and cost-effective legal service that aggressively pursues the facts of the case in a straightforward and logical manner. Knowing that the first few days following the arrest are the most important, Roelke Law will immediately begin working on your case.
A career commitment to protecting the constitutional rights of his clients has allowed William Roelke to ensure the safety of those he serves while making certain that they are treated in a fair and just manner during the criminal process. Proudly representing individuals throughout Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County and Nassau County, Roelke Law, P.A. is ready to help Florida residents solve their legal problems and move forward.
Offering free initial consultations, the firm will be happy to sit down with you in a risk-free and confidential setting to go over the details of your identity theft case. To schedule a time to meet with an attorney and discuss your options, please call (904) 354-0333 or send an online message today.
Common Types of Identity Theft
There are many different areas of your life that can be affected by identity theft. The most vulnerable and valuable pieces of identifying information tend to be those that allow access to a money supply. Some of the most common types of identification that are at risk of theft include:
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Telephone Number
- Bank Account Number(s)
- Credit Card Number(s)
- Mother's Maiden Name
- Passwords for Access into:
- Bank Accounts
- Credit Cards
Within the legal definition of Identity Theft in Florida (see below), these are considered "personal identification information."
Identity Theft under Florida Law Using another's identity fraudulently has been a constant security threat for a very long time. For as long as people have been able to forge documents or impersonate another, identity theft has been used as a way to gain access or steal information. Florida has strict laws concerning this offense, which can be found in Chapter 18 of the Florida Statutes.
Specifically, according to Fla. Sta. § 817.568, any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning an individual without first obtaining that individual’s consent.
If the offense was concerning less than $5,000 it will be considered a felony of the third degree. If convicted, a third-degree felony comes with a presumptive sentence of up to five years in jail and / or fines of up to $5,000. If the offense was linked to $5,000 or more in losses, the charge will be a felony of the second degree (15 years and / or $10,000 in fines).
There are also mandatory minimum sentencing laws depending on the size of the crime. If the fraud was for $50,000 or more, or involved 10-19 individuals, the mandatory minimum is 5 years in prison. If the fraud involved $100,000 or more, or 20 or more individuals, the mandatory minimum is 10 years.
Lastly, if the person obtained identifying information with the intent to 'harass' an individual, they will be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree (1 year in jail and / or a fine up to $1,000).
Although these are the common penalties for identity theft, an allegation can be upgraded if the offense "was facilitated or furthered by the use of a public record."
According to §119.011, 'public records' means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.
If the offense was facilitated by the use of public record, the offense is reclassified to the next higher degree as follows:
- A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified as a felony of the third degree.
- A felony of the third degree is reclassified as a felony of the second degree.
- A felony of the second degree is reclassified as a felony of the first degree.
Federal Identity Theft Laws
In addition to state sanction, those accused of identity theft may have to deal with federal charges as well. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 makes it a federal offense when someone "knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law."
Suspected violations of this law are investigated by federal agencies, which can include the United States Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, among others. If the accusation of identity theft reached trial, the offense will be tried by the United States Department of Justice.
As a general point of reference, a federal conviction for ID theft carries a maximum jails sentence of 15 years, along with a fine and forfeiture of any property related to the crime in question. More specifically, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has developed federal sentencing guidelines to provide appropriate penalties for those persons convicted of identity theft.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Duval County Identity Theft Arrest Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been accused of identity theft in Florida, the process of defending your name and freedom must begin immediately. With the help of an experienced Jacksonville white-collar defense attorney, you can effectively articulate your defense strategy in a way that clarifies the facts of the case and puts you in a favorable position to reduce the charges or even drop them completely.
William Roelke is the founding attorney of Roelke Law, P.A., and will bring his leadership experience and extensive legal knowledge to the benefit of your criminal case. As your biggest advocate, William will go to all necessary lengths to protect your rights in what can quickly become a predatory environment for those accused.
The firm proudly represents individuals accused of identity theft and other white-collar crimes throughout Northeastern Florida, including Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, Green Cove Springs, Fernandina Beach and Hilliard. To schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over the facts of your case, please call (904) 354-0333 or send an online message today.