Identity theft is one of the more serious crimes out there. Too often people find that their identities have been stolen. Sometimes, they learn that it was perpetrated by someone they know. It can be overwhelming to hear of all the data breaches on the news, but there are ways you can protect yourself. Let’s take a look at the laws on the books and the penalties associated with identity theft in Florida.
Anyone charged with and then convicted of identity theft in Florida will face a second-degree felony. Should the crime involve public records, the charge will be upgraded to the next highest degree, which would be a first-degree felony. A second-degree felony kicks in when the crime involves the use of another person’s identity to acquire anything of value or any property that is valued at more than $5,000.
For those faced with identity theft charges, they will be forced to pay restitution to their victims. This can include the money they spent or property purchased using the victim’s identity. It can also include the attorney’s fees for the victim.
Civil cases are also permitted when dealing with identity theft cases. That means that outside of criminal charges and being ordered to pay restitution, the defendant could also face a lawsuit filed by the victim.
Having your identity stolen can be crippling. You might never get your peace of mind back after such a breach. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you need to act quickly to stop all transactions, cancel credit cards and repair your credit score.