Fraudulent Use of Personal ID Information

Florida law prohibits the fraudulent use of anyone else’s personal identification information (sometimes called “identity theft.”) Chapter 20.13 includes the standard jury instructions for the fraudulent use of personal identification information under § 817.568(2), Fla. Stat.

To prove that the defendant “possessed personal identification information,” the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant;

  • knew of the existence of the personal identification information; and
  • intentionally exercised control over that personal identification information.

For purposes of § 817.568(2), Fla. Stat., the term “fraudulently” means “purposely or intentionally suppressing the truth or perpetrating a deception or both.”

Attorneys for Fraudulent Use of an ID in Florida

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with the fraudulent use of personal identification information under § 817.568(2), Fla. Stat. We also represent clients for lesser included offenses including:

  • unlawful possession of the personal identification information of another person under Section 817.5685;
  • harassment by use of personal identification information under Section 817.568(4); and
  • unauthorized possession of and other unlawful acts in relation to driver’s license or identification card under Section 322.212.

Our main office is located in downtown Tampa, FL, in Hillsborough County, FL. Our second office is located in New Port Richey, FL.

We fight ID theft cases in Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Polk County, FL.

Call 813-250-0500.

Jury Instructions for Fraudulent Use of Personal ID Information

Chapter 20.13 sets out the standard jury instruction for the Fraudulent Use of or Possession with Intent to Fraudulently Use Personal Identification Information under § 817.568(2), Fla. Stat.

The elements of the crime include:

  1. The Defendant willfully and without authorization either fraudulently used or possessed with intent to fraudulently use personal identification information concerning the victim; and
  2. The Defendant did so without first obtaining the consent of the victim.

The standard jury instruction for the crime was first adopted in 2008 [980 So. 2d 1056] and later amended in 2016 [202 So. 3d 830], and 2018.

Under § 817.568(1)(b), Fla. Stat., the term “authorization” is defined to mean “empowerment, permission, or competence to act.”

Likewise, under § 817.568(1)(f), Fla. Stat., the term “personal identification information” means any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific person, including any:

  • name
  • mother’s maiden name
  • date of birth
  • social security number
  • postal or electronic mail address
  • telephone number
  • employer or taxpayer’s identification number
  • government passport number
  • alien registration number
  • official state or United States issued driver’s license or identification number
  • Medicaid or food stamp account number
  • bank account number
  • credit or debit card number or personal identification number or code assigned to the holder of a debit card by the issuer to permit authorized use of such card
  • unique biometric data such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation, unique electronic identification number, address, or routing code, medical record, telecommunication identifying information or access device, or other number or information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources.

Under § 817.568(1)(e), Fla. Stat., the word “person” is defined to include “individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations.”

Reclassifications for Fraudulent Use of ID Information

Florida law provides for the reclassifications of crimes involving Fraudulent Use under § 817.568(2)(b) and (2)(c), Fla. Stat, based on the value of the pecuniary benefit, the value of the services received, the payment sought to be avoided, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated being classified as:

  • $5,000 or more;
  • $50,000 or more; or
  • $100,000 or more.

The crime might also be reclassified depending on the number of victims involved in the fraudulent use of personal identification information without their consent including:

  • 10 or more but fewer than 20 persons;
  • 20 persons without their consent;
  • 20 or more but fewer than 30 persons without their consent;
  • 30 or more persons without their consent.

If the defendant is charged with either Fraudulent Use or Possession with Intent to Fraudulently Use, then the crime can be reclassified under § 817.568(5), Fla. Stat. and § 119.011, Fla. Stat., if crime “was facilitated or furthered by the use of a public record.”

For purposes of this reclassification, the term “public record” means “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.”

If the defendant is charged with either Fraudulent Use or Possession with Intent to Fraudulently Use under § 817.568(10), Fla. Stat., then it must be determined whether the purpose of obtaining or using personal identification information involved the defendant:

  • misrepresenting himself or herself to be a law enforcement officer or an employee or representative of a bank, credit card company, credit counseling company, or credit reporting agency; or
  • representing that he or she was seeking to assist the victim with the victim’s credit history.

Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information

Section 817.568(4), F.S., prohibits a person from willfully and without authorization possessing, using, or attempting to use PII concerning another for the purpose of harassing that person.

A person who violates this prohibition commits harassment by use of personal identification information, a first degree misdemeanor.

This article was last updated on Thursday, June 3, 2021.