Credit card fraud is a major concern for banks, merchants, and other big businesses, meaning offenses involving credit cards are often prosecuted severely. Florida laws set punishments for those who commit credit card offenses under theft and fraud statutes. People in Boca Raton who commit credit card fraud, whether intentionally or unintentionally, may face jail time, large fines, and other consequences if convicted.
If you are facing charges involving the improper use of a credit card, it is a good idea to talk to a Boca Raton credit card fraud lawyer who could explain the charges and help create a plan of action to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Our experienced fraud attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could help you understand your rights and help you fully exercise them.
Types of Credit Card Fraud Under State Laws
The Florida State Credit Card Crime Act defines numerous offenses relating to credit cards. These may all be referred to under the general term of credit card fraud. Common offenses include stealing a credit card, fraudulently using a credit card, or forging a credit card. Various other offenses include:
- Making false statements to obtain a credit card
- Keeping a lost credit card
- Buying or selling the credit card of another
- Taking a credit card as security for a debt
- Possessing or trafficking in counterfeit credit cards
- Use of an expired credit card
- Use or possession of a credit card scanning or skimming device
- Alteration credit card invoice
Depending on the situation, these offenses may be treated as Misdemeanors or Felonies, but even the least serious credit card offense under the Act carries the potential sentence of up to a year in a Prison and a fine as high as $1,000. For more information on what constitutes as credit card fraud, contact a Boca Raton credit card fraud attorney at Leifert & Leifert.
Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
The Credit Card Crime Act sets for the offense of “Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards” in Section 817.61 of the Florida Code. To be convicted of this offense, the State must prove that an individual used a card with the specific intent of defrauding a person or organization providing money, goods, or services of value. The individual charged must have obtained something of value from the person or organization, and that individual must have known that the card was forged or used without authorization of the cardholder.
To be convicted of credit card fraud, the actions of an individual are considered over a six-month period. If that person commits credit card fraud two or more times within a six-month period, the value of fraudulent property received is added together.
If the individual uses a card fraudulently to obtain something worth less than $100, the offense is considered a First-Degree Misdemeanor. If the value is $100 or more or if they use a card fraudulently three times or more during a six-month period, then the offense becomes a Third-Degree Felony.
Penalties in Boca Raton
Generally, according to Section 817.67(1) or 817.67(2) of the Florida Code, illegal use of a credit card is a First-Degree Misdemeanor or a Third-Degree Felony. Offenses such as the use of an expired credit card are treated as First-Degree Misdemeanors, which means those convicted face a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Offenses such as forging a credit card are considered Third-Degree Felonies with penalties and include up to five years in Prison and a fine as high as $5,000.
Other offenses are even more serious. Possessing counterfeit credit cards, for example, may be treated as a First-Degree Felony, depending on the number of cards involved.
Work with a Boca Raton Credit Card Fraud Attorney
Many Florida and federal laws govern credit card fraud and theft and may severely punish those who are convicted. If you are facing charges involving credit card fraud, it is important to understand the charges as well as your options for defending against those charges.
When you work with Leifert & Leifert’s team of Boca Raton credit card fraud lawyers who know how these offenses are treated in local Courts, you could maximize your chances of success. Our lawyers could advocate on your behalf at each stage of the proceedings to help you reach the optimum outcome in your case. The sooner you call, the sooner a Boca Raton credit card fraud lawyer could help you.