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How can you defend yourself from online identity theft charges?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The internet holds immense power that can make anyone’s life better. But when used excessively, it can lead to devastating outcomes. Our increased exposure to computers and other technological devices in recent decades has opened another way for people to abuse them through criminal activities, known as cybercrimes. These may come in different forms, with identity theft or stealing someone else’s information for personal gain being one of the common examples.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s internet crime report revealed almost 42,800 cybercrime victims in Florida. This finding made it one of the leading states with the most victims in 2022, just next to California.

To combat the concerning numbers, Florida Computer Crimes Act criminalizes offenses against intellectual property and computer users, which may both result in a felony conviction. Depending on the particulars of the case, penalties include significant jail time, fines and restitution payments.

If you face online identity theft allegations, the sooner you devise a clear strategy plan with your legal counsel, the sooner you can avoid your future’s potential ruin.

Possible cybercrime defenses

These could be scary times if you’re accused of using someone’s credit card details or other identification information, such as Social Security and license numbers, to commit a cybercrime. You may allegedly pay bills, make purchases, open accounts, or submit an application to receive loans.

As difficult as it is to face these accusations, it is not impossible. With the specialized guidance of your legal defense team, you may establish that:

  • You lack adequate knowledge about advanced technology, which could lead to a lack of intent.
  • You have permission to access or operate using the person’s files or systems.
  • There is no sufficient evidence proving you are responsible or directly linking you to the crime.

These defenses require supporting evidence strong enough to stand in court and protect your future.

Virtual crimes with real consequences

As much as you would like to think that the internet cannot take away your physical freedom, it could. And when it does, its severe impact on your employment, relationships, reputation and other privileges could be as real as it gets. Should the alleged victim drop the charges, this does not release you from responsibility. You would still need your defense team to aggressively work and fight for you to negotiate and settle with the prosecutor.