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Identity theft and potential penalties

While it might not seem apparent on a daily basis, the reality is that a person's identifying information is extremely valuable. So valuable, in fact, that some will seek to steal it from others. Whether it is through theft or trick, it is possible to steal the identity of others, using it for financial gains. This is a serious action, and those accused of committing identity theft should take it seriously, as it could result in harsh penalties for the accused.

The state of Florida takes identify theft seriously, penalizing individuals for even minor acts. In the simplest form, a person commits identity theft by assuming the identity of another person by presenting him or herself as this other person as a means to enjoy financial gain. This could include assuming a person's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number and other identifying information.

In the state of Florida, if a public record is used to commit identity theft, the offense is then reclassified to the next higher degree. It is considered a second-degree felony when a person obtains the identifying information of another person to obtain property or anything of value worth more than $5,000.

Because the use of another person's identity could have harmful consequences for them, the penalties associated with this crime are serious. An alleged offender could face hefty fines and prison time. This, it is important that those accused of this crime explore their defense options. Taking such a step could help a defendant reduce and even dismiss the charges against them.

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