It Wasn’t Me: Defending Against Identity Theft Charges

Identity theft is a crime commonly seen in the news. Identity theft occurs when someone fraudulently obtains another person’s identifying documentation, often for illegal practices such as defrauding them of money or funding illegal criminal acts. Defending these charges, however, is straight-forward. With the right criminal defense attorney on your side, it is possible to beat fraud charges. Here is everything you need to know about identity fraud.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a criminal activity which is on the rise. With advances in online banking and shopping, more people fall victim to scams designed to steal their identities and money. Not all identity fraud occurs online, however. Some of the most common forms of identity theft charges include:

  • Counterfeiting
  • Cyber scams or phishing
  • Falsely using credit cards
  • Forgery
  • Impersonation
  • Identity cloning
  • Mail fraud
  • Medical identity theft

Proving Identity Theft

Florida Statute 817.568 (2)(a) defines identity theft as ”willfully and without authorization” using fraud to obtain another’s identity information ”without their consent.” The terms “willfully”, “without authorization”, and “without consent” are essential to proving identity fraud charges. Willfully, for example, requires the proving of an overarching plan or goal to steal the information. It must also be proven this was done without expressed consent.

Defending Against Identity Theft Charges

Defenses against identity theft charges in Florida are straightforward. Namely, it must be shown by the prosecution that the accused acted with the intent to use the stolen information for an unlawful purpose. If, for example, it can be shown that the victim gave the accused their debit card with consent to get money for them, and police subsequently arrested them for identity theft, the charges are without merit. Further, if the information was obtained by mistake, with no illicit or fraudulent intent, the prosecution cannot prove that the accused acted willfully.

Identity Theft is a Serious Crime

Authorities treat identity theft as a severe crime because of its ability to fund other illegal activities. Because of this facilitation of other criminal acts – including terrorism and espionage – as well as the damage it wreaks on the victims, identity fraud often escalates to the highest echelons of policing – including the FBI.

Charged with Identity Theft? Call Piotrowski Law Today

Identity theft charges are no laughing matter. If you are charged, you need an experienced and determined criminal defense attorney on your side. You need Chad Piotrowski.

Chad Piotrowski has earned a strong reputation for his defensive strategies and stubborn defense of his client’s rights. Chad was formerly a prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, giving him a unique insight into how the prosecution maneuvers. This insight helps him craft expert defenses for his clients convicted of crimes ranging from routine traffic violation and drug possession to racketeering and murder.

If you are facing charges of identity theft or fraud, call South Florida’s premier criminal defense attorney. Call Piotrowski Law today at 305-204-5000 for a free consultation about your case.