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Experienced Identity Theft Defense Lawyer in Tampa, Florida

Florida’s legal landscape presents unique hurdles in theft crime cases, including those involving identity theft, which carries severe penalties and demands a nuanced approach to defense strategies. Fortunately, Attorney Andrew Buda is a highly regarded Tampa criminal defense lawyer renowned for his experience in navigating the intricacies of Florida identity theft cases. With a comprehensive understanding of the severity of these charges, Andrew Buda and the legal team at Buda Law are dedicated to providing steadfast legal representation to protect the rights and futures of our clients.

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If you’ve been arrested for identity theft in the Tampa area, schedule a free consultation with an experienced theft crimes lawyer at Buda Law by calling (813) 322-2832 today.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft encompasses the unauthorized acquisition and use of someone else’s personal information for fraudulent purposes. Generally speaking, an identity thief seeks to obtain details such as a person’s social security number, credit card number, or even birth certificate with the intent to commit fraud, typically to gain unauthorized access to credit lines, bank accounts, and other financial resources. This can happen through various methods, including phishing scams, data breaches, or physical theft of personal documents.

Identity theft is a complex and evolving area of law, reflecting broader trends in cybercrime and digital fraud. Successfully defending such cases requires not only a legal strategy but also an understanding of digital evidence and the methods used to commit these crimes.

Identity Theft Attorney Florida

Florida Statute 817.568

According to Florida Statute 817.568, “any person who willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning another person without first obtaining that person’s consent, commits the offense of fraudulent use of personal identification information.”

Florida Information Protection Act of 2014

The Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 (FIPA), codified in Florida Statute 501.171, significantly enhanced the state’s data breach notification laws and expanded protections against data breaches for Florida residents. This legislation was designed to safeguard personal information by imposing stricter requirements on businesses and governmental entities regarding the handling, security, and notification of breaches involving personal information.

Key provisions of the FIPA include:

  • Broader Definition of Personal Information: FIPA expanded the definition of “personal information” beyond traditional data like social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and financial account numbers to include health insurance policy numbers, medical history, and information used for log in to online accounts when in combination with an individual’s username or email address.
  • Notification Requirements: The Act requires covered entities to notify individuals affected by a data breach within 30 days of the breach’s discovery, provided the breach is likely to result in identity theft or another financial harm. 
  • Notification to the Department of Legal Affairs: If the breach affects 500 or more Florida residents, the entity must also notify the Florida Department of Legal Affairs (Attorney General’s office) within 30 days.
  • Security Measures: FIPA mandates that entities take reasonable measures to protect and secure data containing personal information in electronic form.
  • Disposal of Customer Records: The Act requires that businesses and governmental entities take appropriate measures to dispose of customer records containing personal information when they are no longer needed.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance: Entities that fail to comply with FIPA’s requirements can face enforcement actions by the Florida Attorney General, including fines and injunctions. 

By implementing these measures, FIPA aims to ensure that personal information is protected more thoroughly across Florida, reducing the risk and impact of identity theft and other frauds resulting from data breaches.

Tampa Identity Theft Lawyer

Common Types of Identity Theft Cases in Tampa

Identity theft is a persistent concern with various forms of fraud affecting Florida residents. Credit card fraud remains a prevalent issue. This illicit act often results in having the victim’s identity stolen, leading to potentially severe consequences. By stealing credit card information, identity thieves can open fraudulent credit accounts and create false credit reports to deceive credit bureaus.

Additionally, the state sees a notable occurrence of social security fraud, involving the illicit use of an individual’s social security number for deceptive purposes, such as opening false accounts. Individuals may also use false social security numbers to receive government assistance such as disability benefits, retirement benefits, or other forms of assistance.

Another significant type of identity theft is medical identity theft, where personal identification information is used to obtain medical services, prescription drugs, or submit fraudulent insurance claims.

tampa fl identity theft defense

What are the Penalties for Identity Theft in Florida?

The penalties for identity theft in Florida can be severe, but they vary depending on the severity of the crime, including the amount of money stolen or the harm caused. Florida law outlines different degrees of offenses, including first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree identity theft and their corresponding penalties. In any case, identity theft is considered a felony offense and requires the assistance of a Florida felony defense attorney like Andrew Buda to potentially mitigate the penalties faced.

First-Degree Identity Theft in FL

If the offense involves the personal identification information of 30 or more individuals OR resulted in theft of up to $100,000, it is considered a first-degree felony. Penalties may range between 10-30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Second-Degree Identity Theft in FL

If the offense involves the personal identification information of 20 or more but fewer than 30 individuals OR resulted in theft of up to $50,000, it is also classified as a first-degree felony. Penalties may range between 5-30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Third-Degree Identity Theft in FL

If the offense involves the personal identification information of fewer than 20 individuals OR resulted in theft of up to $5,000, it can be classified as a second-degree felony. Penalties may range between 3-15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Beyond prison time and fines, individuals convicted of identity theft may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victims, covering the financial losses incurred as a result of the theft. It’s also not uncommon for individuals charged with identity theft to also face related charges, such as fraud, theft, or cybercrimes, which can lead to additional penalties.

The Personal Impact of Identity Theft Charges

Beyond criminal penalties, the personal impact of an identity theft conviction has far-reaching consequences. For example, facing an identity theft conviction can lead to a criminal record, impacting future opportunities and employment prospects. Employers, landlords, and financial institutions may hesitate to trust someone with a history of identity fraud, limiting career advancement and financial stability. 

Identity Theft Charges in Tampa

Why You Need an Experienced Identity Theft Lawyer

Having an experienced Tampa identity theft lawyer like Andrew Buda on your side is crucial for navigating the complexities of legal proceedings as well as ensuring the protection of your legal rights and future. A skilled attorney has the knowledge and resources to guide you through the intricate landscape of identity theft cases, which often involve complex legal and technological aspects. This comprehensive support is instrumental in helping defendants confront the challenges they face while also advocating on their behalf to secure the most favorable outcomes possible. 

Your identity theft lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors, present mitigating circumstances, and argue for reduced charges or penalties. Their strategy might involve leveraging legal precedents, engaging expert witnesses to provide testimony on your behalf, or negotiating plea deals that serve your best interests.

Building a Defense Against Identity Theft Charges

Building a solid defense is a key element of an identity theft lawyer’s role. This involves a detailed examination of the charges against their client, identifying any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. For instance, they may scrutinize the evidence to ensure it was obtained legally and meets the standards of admissibility in court. Additionally, they might seek out exculpatory evidence that could prove their client’s innocence or mitigate their level of culpability.

Challenging evidence is another critical aspect. This can include questioning the accuracy of forensic evidence, the reliability of witness testimonies, or the legality of law enforcement procedures. By challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution, the defense attorney can create reasonable doubt about the client’s guilt, which is essential for a favorable outcome.

Criminal Defense for Tampa Identity Theft

Why Choose Buda Law for Your Identity Theft Case?

Choosing an experienced Tampa theft crimes attorney like Andrew Buda for identity theft defense brings the assurance of having an experienced and dedicated attorney on your side. With a comprehensive grasp of the complexities associated with identity theft, Buda and his team of identity theft lawyers offer personalized legal solutions designed to protect your best interests. This not only demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the legal challenges posed by identity theft but also underscores a commitment to providing targeted, effective defense strategies that cater to the unique needs and circumstances of each client.

In choosing Buda Law for your defense against identity theft charges, you’re not just getting legal representation; you’re securing a partner who is deeply invested in your case. Whether navigating the initial stages of a case or representing clients in court, identity theft lawyers like Andrew Buda are pivotal in ensuring that their clients’ rights are vigorously defended and their cases are handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

Call an Experienced Identity Theft Attorney at Buda Law Today for a Free Consultation

Don’t navigate the complexities of identity theft allegations alone – let Buda Law help guide you through the legal process. Take the first step toward securing your future by enlisting the services of a dedicated advocate who will work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Contact Buda Law by reaching out online or calling (813) 322-2832 today to schedule a free consultation and ensure a strong defense against the charges you face.


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