ATM debit cards. Credit cards. Gift cards. So many cards in your wallet, and so little time to spend money. But what if you lose a card? It’s that heart-stopping moment when you wonder…”Did someone find it and start using it?”. But what if you are the one accused of credit card fraud?
Credit card crimes usually involve the buying or selling of stolen or forged credit cards. The unauthorized use of a credit card, namely the use of another person’s credit card, or the counterfeiting or altering of credit cards, or any combination of these with land you in serious legal trouble. Now the good news for a suspect and their lawyer is that the prosecution must prove that the person knew that the card was forged, stolen, or unlawfully obtained. Not always easy to prove, but that won’t stop the State from pursuing charges. The penalties from a conviction for Credit Card Fraud can be long lasting and can change your life forever. For example, a prosecutor can charge the defendant with a first degree misdemeanor for two transactions or offenses committed in a 6 month period or for an offense during which less than $100 in value was stolen. If the suspect engaged in three or more acts of fraudulent card use within a 6 month time frame, or if the defendant obtained goods valued at over $100, then the penalty increases and the charge rises to a third degree felony.
What started out as simply a crime in which “no one really gets hurt” turns into some time spent behind bars. All states take credit card fraud seriously, especially the state of Florida.