Miami Identity Theft Attorney
Understanding Identity Theft Charges and Penalties
According to the Federal Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, identity theft occurs when a person "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."
Identity theft offenses are investigated by federal agencies, including the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) as well as the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Identity theft may also tie in with other serious federal crimes, including credit card fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, computer hacking, and bank fraud.
Under federal law, identity theft is an offense which may be punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment as well as fines, and the possible forfeiture of any property that was used to commit or forward the act or that was purchased with proceeds of the crime.
Aggravated Identity Theft in Florida
With the advances in modern computer technology, incidences of identity theft has spread like wildfire across the United States and worldwide. The United States Department of Justice defines identity theft and identity fraud as all types of crimes where someone wrongfully obtains and uses someone else's personal information in some manner which involves fraud or deception, typically for the purpose of economic gain.
Unlike someone's fingerprints which are unique to the person and cannot be used by someone else, one's personal data such as their Social Security number, or their bank account number, or their credit card number, or their telephone number and other valuable identifying information can be stolen.
According to the United States Department of Justice, in the United States and Canada many people have reported that unauthorized people have taken funds out of their bank accounts, or in worst cases, completely stolen their identity, running up debts and committing crimes in the victims' names, all of which fall under the umbrella of identity theft.
18 USC § 1028A – Aggravated Identity Theft
In the United States, we have what is called the United States Code, which is the Code of Laws of the United States, commonly abbreviated to U.S.C. The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general federal laws of the United States of America. Aggravated identity theft is covered under 18 USC § 1028A and it states the following:
In general, whomever during the commission of any felony violation enumerated in subsection (c) knowingly possesses, or uses, or transfers, without lawful authority a means of identification of another individual shall, in addition to the punishment provided under such felony, be sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Terrorism offense – Whoever, during and in connection to any felony offense covered in section 2332b (g)(5)(B), knowingly possesses, transfers, or uses, without lawful authority someone else's identification for a false identification document shall, in addition to the punishment for such felony, be sentenced to a 5 year term of imprisonment.
What's more, under the section covering a "consecutive sentence," the court shall not place a person on probation unless the term of imprisonment imposed for a violation of this section at the discretion of the court, was ordered to run concurrently at the same time for an additional violation of this section.
Fighting Federal Identity Theft Charges in Florida
Identity theft is illegal under both Florida state law and federal law. These offenses are harshly prosecuted and are investigated by special task forces that have the particular training and resources necessary to handle cases of this nature.
To successfully counter the aggressive investigation and prosecution that a defendant will face for identity theft at a local, state or federal level, you will need an aggressive and knowledgeable federal crime attorney in your corner.
Miami federal defense lawyer Michael Mirer is a highly skilled trial attorney and is also a former prosecutor. With his knowledge of both sides of the criminal process as well as his experience in handling federal cases, Attorney Mirer can offer you the level of legal representation and client service that you deserve.
If you would like to avoid the serious penalties associated with an identity theft or aggravated identity theft conviction in Miami, contact the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. today to talk to a skilled attorney about your legal options.
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