15 Dec Is Credit Card Fraud a Felony?
Most people don’t understand the technicalities of how credit card fraud works and its accompanying laws. For these reasons, it’s easy to find yourself accused of fraud even without knowing you committed it—such as when you’re in possession of goods purchased with a stolen card.
Regardless of the specific charges, credit card fraud as a crime can easily escalate to a felony, with penalties including years in prison, long-term probation, fines, restitution, and so on. If you’ve been charged with any type of credit card fraud, you’ll likely need an attorney to explain your charges, possible penalties, and ensure your rights are protected.
A credit card fraud lawyer can use their legal knowledge to defend you in court in a bid to reduce your charges or even get them dismissed.
Different Types of Credit Card Fraud
If you’re charged with credit card fraud, it’s going to fall into one of the following categories:
- Stolen credit card
- Using a credit card or account fraudulently
- Forging credit card information
- Manufacturing or processing credit cards, including having the means to do so
- Unconsented publishing of credit card information
- Retailer credit card fraud
When Does Credit Card Fraud Become a Felony?
Penalties for credit card fraud will depend on several things. You can never be sure what criminal punishment you’re likely to receive until a professional reviews your case.
The first factor to consider is the amount of money involved in the fraud. If this amount is below $950, then your crime will be treated as a misdemeanor under petty theft. Any case involving more than $950 becomes grand theft and can be tried as a felony.
In addition, a case that involves fraud against the government or is interstate might become a federal offense, which carries more years in prison. It’s also common for credit card fraud offenders to be charged with related crimes like burglary or identity theft.
How Can a Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Defend You?
The outcome of your case will partly depend on how effective your defense is. Your attorney can defend you by proving you did not intend to commit fraud with the actions that led to your arrest.
Another defense to avoid a conviction is to show the police didn’t have probable cause to arrest you. This could lead to a dismissal of your charges altogether. If the evidence used to charge you was obtained unlawfully or unreasonably, it could also be excluded and probably prevent a felony conviction.
Get in Touch with a Credit Card Fraud Attorney
Credit card fraud is a serious offense, and a felony conviction can change your life and those of your loved ones forever. Speak with a lawyer early enough to assess your charges and build a strong defense strategy.
At Crowell Law Offices, we offer a free initial session to learn more about your case and how best we can help you get a favorable outcome. Call us today at 916-303-2800 or fill out the form below to get started.