Our lawyers are familiar with identity theft charges, whether they occur at a Federal or State level. These charges come in all shapes and sizes in that they are generally connected to another “predicate” or underlying crime. Generally credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, lender fraud, Medicare fraud, or a scheme to unlawfully file a tax return of another is connected to this type of allegation. In its most basic form, identity theft involves taking another’s personal information to facilitate a theft or fraudulent transaction. State Attorney’s offices and United States Attorney’s offices across the State of Florida are making this type of crime a higher priority every day. Like any other crime of dishonesty, a formal conviction against you will haunt you for the rest of your life. Don’t take a chance with your freedom and livelihood. The criminal attorneys at The Mayberry Law Firm have represented numerous individuals charged in crimes of dishonesty and have achieved excellent results for our clients. Our results have allowed our clients to carry on their lives free from the stigma of being a convicted felon, while retaining their civil rights.
Federal and State government is cracking down more and more on this brand of theft crime in Tampa and all across the United States. As the economy struggles, more and more people are looking for a shortcut. Often the theft of someone else’s identifying information is used as this vehicle to make money. Not only are individuals using theft as a means to steal, terrorism is often facilitated by stealing the identity of law-abiding citizens in order to fund terrorist activities. The Federal Legislature has responded to this growing problem by enacting 18 U.S.C. 1028A, the Federal Aggravated Identity Theft Statute. Simplified, this statute says that whoever during and in relation to any predicate/underlying felony listed in 18 U.S.C. 1028A(c) or 2332b(g)(5)(B) knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person shall, in addition to the punishment provided for the connected predicate offense, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years or a period of 5 years if it relates to a terrorist predicate offense. Not only is there a required penalty, the predicate offense connected to a 1028A violation cannot be reduced to account for the mandatory minimum. Lastly, the general rule in these cases is that the 1028A violation’s sentence cannot run at the same time as the predicate offense. So, once the prison term for the predicate/underlying offense is over, you still have to serve the two or five year prison term for the 1028A violation.
Of all the crimes of dishonesty, stealing the identifiers of another seems to be the most sought after by authorities. If you are being investigated for or are charged with this crime, contact our criminal lawyers today at 813-444-7435. Police or Federal Agents will attempt to contact you in an effort to build their case. They are not working to help you and speaking to them without the aid of an attorney can be detrimental to your case. Anything you say will be used against you and if you buckle under pressure and say anything that can be construed as an admission, your case may be significantly hindered. We’re on your side. We’ll fight for you. Contact our office today.