Orlando Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney
Credit Card Fraud
If you have been charged with credit card fraud in Orlando or in any other place within the Central Florida area it is critical that you contact a highly experienced Orlando credit card fraud defense attorney immediately.
Credit card crimes in the State of Florida are often charged under the State Credit Card Crime Act (Florida Statutes, Sections 817.57-817.685).
Credit card crimes commonly involve the buying or selling of stolen or forged credit cards, the unauthorized use of an expired credit card or unauthorized use of another person's credit card, the counterfeiting or altering of credit cards, or any combination of these. Florida law defines "credit cards" to include:
- ATM cards
- banking cards
- check cards
- credit cards
- debit cards
- and other types of cards related to financial transactions.
The State Credit Card Crime Act ("the Act") sets criminal penalties for offenses related to credit card fraud. Some credit card offenses are classified as misdemeanors, however, many are felonies.
Unauthorized Use of a Credit Card in Florida
In Florida, the unauthorized use of a credit card issued to another person is a crime. The prosecutor must be able to show that the defendant intentionally used a forged or stolen credit card to obtain money or to pay for goods and services. The State must prove that the person knew that the card was forged, stolen, or unlawfully obtained, and that he or she represented themselves as the card holder. For instance, a prosecutor can charge a defendant with a first degree misdemeanor for two transactions or offenses committed in a six-month period or for an offense during which the value obtained was less than $100. If the person engaged in three or more acts of fraudulent use within a six-month period, or if the defendant obtained goods, services, or money valued over $100, then under the above Act, the penalty increases and the charge rises to a third degree felony.
The Act also criminalizes the buying and selling of a credit card by anyone other than the issuer of the card. In addition, Florida law prohibits the theft or unauthorized retention of a credit card issued to another person. Forgery and counterfeiting activities for the production of credit cards also violate state law.
Florida law also allows for the prosecution of cases that could be considered credit card fraud by charging other offenses found outside of the Act. This can result in the imposition of more severe penalties. For example, a prosecutor may have the option to charge a credit card crime through the Act or pursue another charge such as theft, or both. Then, if convicted, a person can be sentenced separately for each charge.
Credit card fraud charges are taken very seriously by Florida prosecutors and the penalties can be long lasting and live changing for both you and your family. That is why it so important to have someone very experienced and knowledgeable on your side. Call Orlando credit card fraud defense lawyer Jack Kaleita immediately if you are charged, or think you may be charged, with credit card fraud. Our early intervention can make a big difference in the outcome of your case!
Credit Card Fraud Charges in Florida - Possible Defenses
- No intent to commit fraud or otherwise engage in unlawful activities
- Authorization given by the credit card holder
Credit Card Fraud and Possible Penalties
If the State of Florida prosecutes the defendant using the State Credit Card Crime Act, a conviction will result in one of the penalties or sentences set by the Act. The punishment for credit card fraud depends on whether the offense charged is a misdemeanor or a felony:
- If charged with a first degree misdemeanor, a person's conviction may lead to a sentence of imprisonment for up to a year, a fine in an amount up to $1,000, or even both.
- If the crime is charged as a third degree felony, imprisonment may last up to five years, and the potential fine increases to a maximum of $5,000. Again, both are possible also.
Either way, the state also often considers the defendant's criminal record and any previous convictions when determining what penalties or sentences to seek.
Contact our Central Florida Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you care about is facing an accusation of credit card fraud, call criminal defense Attorney Jack Kaleita today for a free consultation! As a former senior Florida prosecutor, Mr. Kaleita is thoroughly familiar with how criminal cases are handled and prepared for trial by the government against the accused. Use this knowledge to your advantage and contact us today! We are available at (866) 422-7934 or (407) 831-7800. You may also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Central Florida credit card defense attorney Jack Kaleita will contact you shortly. Our law firm is committed to protecting your rights. We are conveniently located just off Interstate 4, in Longwood, minutes away from downtown Orlando, and easily accessible from every direction.