The Elements of Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is prohibited under both state and federal law and comes with serious penalties, so if you are currently being investigated for your involvement in a credit card fraud-related scheme, you should strongly consider contacting a white collar crime lawyer who can help you begin formulating a defense.
Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards
In Florida, a person can be charged with fraudulently using a credit card if he or she knowingly uses an unlawfully obtained or forged credit card or falsely represents that he or she is the card holder, with the purpose of obtaining goods, services, money, or anything else of value. The penalties faced by a defendant convicted of credit card fraud under state law depends on a variety of factors, including the number of times that the defendant used the card and the amount or value of the services or goods obtained. For instance, those who are accused of fraudulently using a credit card at least two times in a six month period or of obtaining goods valued at less than $100 will only be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. However, if a defendant used the card more than two times or obtained money, services, or goods valued at over $100, he or she can be charged with a third degree felony, which could mean a five year prison sentence.
A person can also be charged with credit card fraud under federal law if he or she uses or attempts to use a counterfeit, altered, forged, lost, stolen, or unlawfully obtained credit card in a transaction that affects interstate commerce. However, a defendant can only be tried in federal court for this offense if the value of the goods purchased totaled at least $1,000 and were obtained over a one year period. A person can also be charged in federal court if he or she is accused of:
- Knowingly transporting or attempting to transport an altered, forged, stolen, or counterfeit credit card in interstate commerce;
- Knowingly using an instrumentality of interstate commerce to sell or transport a forged, stolen, or fraudulently obtained credit card;
- Knowingly receiving or concealing goods obtained with a forged or stolen card;
- Knowingly receiving, concealing, using, or selling tickets for interstate transportation that were purchased with a fraudulently obtained credit card; or
- Knowingly furnishing money, property, or services through the use of a forged or stolen credit card in a transaction affecting interstate commerce.
Federal crimes are generally more aggressively investigated and prosecuted than their state counterparts. For instance, the federal offense of credit card fraud is punishable by a ten year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
Call an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney About Your Case Today
Whether you have been charged with credit card fraud in state or federal court, you need the advice and guidance of a skilled attorney who can advocate on your behalf. Please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys at 305-670-9919 to begin working on your case with an experienced Miami white collar crime lawyer.