Credit and Debit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is a crime that has affected consumers throughout the country. Fraud has become more prevalent as the use of the debit and credit cards become more popular. Several big box stores have had issues in recent years with users’ information getting stolen and later being used for purchases or withdrawls, which also is a crime.
Credit card fraud is considered a white collar crime, and law enforcement takes these cases very seriously. Those convicted of credit card fraud in Florida are often subjected to steep penalties, so understanding your legal options is crucial to your defense.
West Palm Beach Credit and Debit Card Fraud Attorney
If you are facing charges of credit or debit card fraud, contact experienced West Palm Beach white collar crime attorney Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Stine has more than 10 years of experience representing people facing criminal charges in South Florida. He handles all cases with the client’s needs and wishes in mind, all while fighting for the best possible outcome.
Stine represents clients throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs and Tequesta. To discuss your credit card fraud case with a skilled attorney, call 561.880.4300.
Information About Credit and Debit Card Fraud
- Obtaining a Debit Card through Fraudulent Means
- Credit Card Crimes Involving Obtaining Money
- Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Palm Beach County
- Andrew D. Stine | West Palm Beach Economic Crime Lawyer
There are several ways credit and debit card fraud could be committed in Florida. For example, even possessing with the intent to use or sell stolen cards is a crime. Examples of obtaining a credit or debit card through fraudulent means include:
Theft by taking or retaining possession: A person who takes a card from another or a business without the owner’s consent could be found guilty of credit card fraud. The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Theft of lost card or one delivered by mistake: If a person receives a credit card he or she knows to have been lost, misplaced or given to you by mistake and keeps it with the intent to use it, that person could be charged with card theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Purchase or sale of card to another: If a person sells a credit card to another or purchases a credit card from someone who is not the card’s issuer, he or she would violate the law. The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Dealing in credit cards of another: If a person receives two or more cards in a 12-month period through what could be considered credit card theft, it could be considered dealing in credit cards. The charge is taken more seriously and carries a harsher punishment. The crime is considered a third-degree misdemeanor.
Trafficking stolen or counterfeit credit cards is illegal in Florida. If you are accused of trafficking more than 10 credit cards, invoices or credit card account numbers in a 10-month period, you could face second-degree felony charges.
Possession of a stolen credit card: If a person knowingly retains a credit or debit card that has been taken from the cardholder without his or her consent, that person commits unlawful possession of a stolen credit or debit card. It is considered a third-degree felony.
Under Florida’s State Credit Card Crime Act, it is illegal for a person to use a credit card or debit card without the owner’s consent. Using a credit card that has been obtained through fraudulent means or without the owner’s consent could result in jail times.
For example, if a person who is given a credit or debit card to goods or services fails to do so, but says he or she did, and uses the credit or debit card for other purposes without the owner’s permission, that would be considered credit card fraud.
In West Palm Beach, the penalties for credit card fraud can be determined by the amount of money stolen from the account and the time frame in which it was taken.
If a credit or debit card was used to obtain more than $100 worth of goods or property more than twice in six months, the crime is considered a third-degree felony, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 817.61. If the card was used to acquire less than $100, it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor.
The penalties for credit and debit card fraud in Florida can include jail time, fines and restitution to victims. The punishments are determined by the crimes. If convicted, you could face:
- First-Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
Credit card crimes are taken seriously in Florida. If you are facing charges, you need an accomplished attorney on your case. Contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. to discuss your best legal options. Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a free case evaluation.