Credit card fraud is a federal fraud crime, which carries serious penalties. Penalties for this type of fraud can include fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to 10 years depending on the severity of the offense and whether this was an isolated act of fraud or an ongoing pattern of fraud.
Credit Card Fraud Charges
- Less than $50: Second Degree Misdemeanor
- Less than $500: First Degree Misdemeanor
- More than $500: Felony
Credit Card Fraud Penalties
For many people, being convicted for credit card fraud means the end of their career. A conviction for this type of fraud can ruin your reputation and have a long-lasting negative effect on the quality of your life, which is why it is so vital to seek legal advice from a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Jail Time for Credit Card Fraud
- Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine
- First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine
- Third Degree Felony: Up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine
- Second Degree Felony: Up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine
Common Types of Credit Card Fraud
Common types of credit card fraud that can land you in prison for quite some time are:
- Making purchases using credit cards that do not belong to you;
- Falsifying information to receive credit cards;
- Stealing someone else’s credit card information;
- Manufacturing credit cards; and
- Using someone else’s identity to get or use credit cards.
Credit Card Fraud Defense
Fighting back against credit card fraud charges can be extremely difficult given the public’s anger and resentment toward those who engage in this type of fraud. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to examine your case, understand why the prosecution has reasons to believe that you participated in credit card fraud, and build a legal strategy to help you reduce the severity of the penalties or avoid penalties altogether.
Those who find themselves in the middle of a credit card fraud investigation often choose to wait and see what happens instead of taking legal action to secure a satisfactory resolution of their case. “I have done nothing wrong, so I will just wait for the investigation to get to the bottom of it,” they think. As a result, they choose to not be represented by an attorney, and risk being charged with a serious crime even though they did not do anything illegal (or so they think).
Prosecutors will be ruthless and aggressive, which affects their ability to be reasonable, rational, and fair. More often than not, only an experienced criminal defense lawyer is able to get the prosecutor to understand the defendant’s personal circumstances or collect sufficient evidence proving the defendant’s innocence. Also, it is no less crucial that your criminal defense attorney will conduct an independent investigation to get to the bottom of your case and then present your case to the jury in a way to convince them to drop or dismiss the charges against you. If you were accused of fraud, you need a strong legal team to fight for your rights. Contact the Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys at SMT Legal to find out your options.