The unauthorized use of a credit card is illegal, no matter the circumstances. As a form of criminal activity, any person who is facing a charge for this action stands the chance of going to prison with a felony conviction. Learn more about how this type of charge is handled.
Credit Card Fraud Defined
It is important to understand that your perception of credit card fraud may not be the same as what the law dictates. For example, when the average person thinks about fraud, they think about an instance where someone steals another person's credit card and uses it. However, in the eyes of the law, the scenario does not have to play out this way.
Credit card fraud also includes instances when an individual creates a counterfeit or fake credit card and successfully uses it, or even attempts to. It can also involve instances where a person has a credit card in their possession or has access to it but has not been authorized to use it. Anytime you are guilty of any of these acts, you face this charge.
One unique thing about cases involving credit cards is that the fines that come along with the sentence are often nearly as harsh as any jail time passed down. Financial crimes are not victimless crimes, so the person convicted of the crime will most often be required to pay back all, or at least a portion, of the money that they frauded either the individual or credit card company out of. It is important to note that even if you are fortunate enough to avoid a jail sentence, you should expect to have to pay financial penalties.
Value Also Matters
Keep in mind; the value of the credit card purchases that the defendant amassed is also of importance. While the laws are set at the state level, typically, the value of the charges will constitute what type of charge the person faces.
For example, in some states, if the charges were $500 or less, the crime can be classified as a misdemeanor. However, if the charge is over this amount, it is considered a felony. For higher value charges, it is especially helpful to have a felony attorney represent you, as thousands of dollars in charges could equal years behind bars without any recourse.
The most important thing to remember is that if you or a loved one faces a charge for this type of activity, you want to take the matter seriously. Contact felony attorneys to learn more.