You are considered very lucky if you have never been a victim of credit card fraud in the United States. With all kinds of tools and options available to fraudsters nowadays – phishing, skimming, hacking, and many more – credit card fraud is one of the leading types of fraud in our country.
Credit card fraud is a federal fraud crime, which carries serious penalties. Our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney at SMT Legal explains that 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.
Fighting back against charges can be extremely difficult given the public’s anger and resentment toward those who engage in this type of fraud, which is why seeking help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania is of paramount importance to build a defense strategy focused on the reduction or elimination of the charges.
Credit Card and Criminal Defense
There are countless articles and even books on how we can protect ourselves from fraud involving our personal information online and credit card information, and nearly everyone knows how easy it is to become a victim of credit card fraud nowadays. But we rarely think about how easy it is to be falsely accused when you did nothing wrong.
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 a criminal defense lawyer, and risk being charged with a serious crime even though they did not do anything illegal (or so they think). 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.
Types of Credit Card Fraud
The most common types of fraud that can land you in prison for quite some time are:
- Making purchases using credit cards that did 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.
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 white collar crime lawyer.
Pittsburgh Credit Card Fraud Attorneys
Prosecutors can be ruthless and aggressive, which oftentimes 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 Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys at SMT Legal to find out your options.