According to a 2009 report by the Federal Trade Commission, approximately 13.9 million Americans have become victims of identity theft. Data from the Consumer Sentinel Network in 2014 showed that the state of Florida had the most cases of identity theft with 37,059 incidents – or around 186 complaints per 100,000 residents.
If you have been accused of identity theft in Florida, it is important that you seek legal representation from a seasoned identity theft lawyer as soon as possible. Find an identity theft attorney that has extensive experience in white collar crimes and federal criminal defense within the state.
What Constitutes Identity Theft?
In 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act which categorized identity theft as a federal crime. Title 18 Section 1028 of the U.S. Code defines Identity Theft, otherwise known as Aggravated Identity Theft, as the unauthorized use of another person’s identification with the intent to commit unlawful activity. Aggravated Identity Theft carries a consecutive two-year minimum mandatory prison sentence for each count charged. Identity theft is also considered a felony in certain states.
There is identity theft in the following circumstances:
- A caller pretends to be a bank representative and asks for personal details such as social security number and date of birth. Once the caller obtains access to a bank account, this can be used to empty the account or obtain more credit cards.
- A bank employee gets access to a client’s account and sells it to a buyer.
- A stranger picks up a lost credit card and uses it to buy something.
- Another computer user gains access to your email account and picks up personal information in your conversations.
- The garbage collector finds some personal documents in the trash and uses the information to apply for a credit card.
- A DMV employee sells license registry information to someone on the outside.
- A store clerk photocopies a check with the customer’s license number and uses the information.
- A dumpster diver finds and uses credit card receipts at restaurants.
- Open a bank account in someone else’s name and write bad checks on that account.
- Apply for mobile phone service in someone else’s name.
Penalties for Committing Identity Theft in Florida
Under Florida Statute 817.568, a person may be charged with a felony of the first, second or third degree for the following identity theft crimes:
- Criminal use of personal identification.
Using another individual’s personal information without their consent is classified as a second degree felony if the amount stolen is equal or greater than $5,000.
- Criminal use of personal information to harass.
If the stolen personal information is used to harass another individual, the crime will be prosecuted as a first degree misdemeanor.
- Criminal use of a minor’s personal information.
Using the identity of a minor for personal gain – even by a parent, guardian, or relative – constitutes a second-degree felony.
- Criminal use of a deceased person’s information.
Using the identity of a dead person is considered a third-degree felony. Charges, however, are upgraded according to the value stolen:
- Second-degree felony if equal or greater than $5,000
- First-degree felony if equal or greater than $50,000
- First-degree felony with mandatory 10-year sentence if equal or greater than $100,000 and if the crime involved 30 or more deceased persons
Contact an Identity Theft Lawyer in Florida Today
An identity theft attorney deals with many different types of cases ranging from credit card fraud to government document scams to fraudulent tax filings. If you are facing identity theft charges in Florida, consult an identity theft lawyer with vast expertise defending these types of charges in Federal and State court. Call us to schedule an appointment or drop by our office today.
[There] aren’t that many people left in this world that give you[their] word and keep it. Chad genuinely cares about the problem at hand. Whether minute or something very serious you can sit back and relax, knowing you have the best representation available. I would recommend Chad to my family and friends.
(Jan 15, 2013) I had the distinct pleasure of working closely with Chad when we were both supervising attorneys within the Domestic Violence Unit at the State Attorney’s Office here in Miami-Dade County. We successfully tried numerous jury trials together, and I always look forward to the opportunity of working with him again on any matter. Chad is a phenomenal attorney whose training, experience, intelligence and trial skills are only matched by his commitment to excellence. He is very trustworthy, hard working, and always uses his experience to get positive results for his clients without fail. As such, Chad’s stellar reputation amongst the legal community is very well deserved.
– Robin Pimentel (Worked together on matter)
I have known Chad as both a dedicated prosecutor as well as an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who regularly achieves well beyond his clients’ expectations.
– Thomas Mote (Fellow lawyer in community)
(Feb 7, 2013) Mr. Piotrowski is a highly skilled lawyer. He has an outstanding reputation with the judges. I endorse this lawyer!
– Frank Gaviria (Fellow lawyer in community)
(Jan 8, 2018) When i first contacted through email i was suprised and impressed that he was willing to call me to discuss the case at 10pm. He was honest and real reasonable priced and didnt use agressive sales and fear tactics like other lawyers use. He treated me fairly and not like a criminal. Was falsely arrested by miami dade narc cops for preworkout supplement that they claimed was opoids and 100% cbd hemp oil that they claimed is thc oil. Chad was agressive and moved quickly got this case dismised at the araignment for a reasonable price.
– Doug (Case dismissed at araignment)
(Oct 26, 2017) I called Chad on a weekend for a free consult, he was at the park with his family, he was hired on the spot as we spoke. We researched him online extensively, read reviews etc. During the months of anxiety, Chad would call/text to explain anything or address concerns and try to calm my nerves. He doesn’t act/talk strict & binding. He’s very hands-on, experienced, knows his work, 110% trustworthy, very out-going, straight-forward tells you as it is, crack jokes, and actually keeps in communication, which is very important, because being informed helps you to understand everything as you go along. So, here you have a lawyer who is not only good at law but is a people’s person, not like some unpleasant, overpriced ones out there. We recommend Chad to ANYONE. If you’re in doubt or worried about something, trust HIM! He was also very affordable and had a very convenient payment plan. CASE DISMISSED.
(Jan 8, 2017) Chad is an excellent attorney. As a working parent I was not able to be at court to support my daughter while going through criminal charges. Chad was there every single time supporting my daughter by keeping her informed, by contacting her previous attorneys from out of State to reduce her case from criminal to civil. There are no words I can ever express to convey my gratitude.
Thank you Chad
(Jan 6, 2016) I had three trumped up felony charges over something that should have been a police warning at most and the prosecution really, really wanted to pin on me.
Chad went above and beyond both in how he treated me and how he handled the case. My life isn’t ruined right now because of him. He got everything DISMISSED while every other attorney i spoke to were happy to take whatever offer they were given, still leaving me with a ruined record.
Chad, thank you, hiring you was the best decision I’ve ever made.
(Dec 4, 2013) Chad was fantastic. I had a felony case, and as my first offense, I was scared and confused on the entire process. I am glad I choose Chad to represent me, after speaking with so many lawyers. He was honest and detailed from the beginning. He got my case dismissed.
If you need a lawyer in Miami I suggest you go with Chad Piotrowski. He was very adamant about beating my case. He put in maximum effort into my case. He mad me feel comfortable and confident the entire way throughout my case. In the end he fought to get me the very possible outcome. I would definitely retain his services again and recommend him to friends and family. Thank you Chad.
– Julian Sanchez
Mr. Piotrowski is very professional. Mr. Piotrowski represented my nephew and we couldn’t ask for a better attorney. There was never a call not answered, emails and text messages were always answered.
I would refer anyone to mr. Piotrowski I would trust him with anyone in my family. If you need an attorney I guarantee Mr. Piotrowski is the one!!!
Thank you again!!
– Salazar & Moreno Family
Get the Experienced Representation You Need?
Get Your Free Consultation
To learn more about South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Chad Piotrowski, or to schedule a free confidential consultation, please contact us by filling out the form below: