Credit card fraud is a general term that describes a range of financial crimes involving a credit card and some form of lie, theft, or misuse. Credit card fraud cases can range from simple to complex, depending on the circumstances of the details of the case.
If you are being investigated or accused of credit card fraud in New Jersey, knowing the following steps is imperative. Here is everything you need to know about your legal defense options in a credit card fraud case in New Jersey.
What Are the Types of Credit Card Fraud?
There are several different types of credit card fraud. The exact details of each type of crime differ based on the specific circumstances of each case.
The most common types include:
- Credit Card Alteration: Card alteration is when you physically alter a credit card. For example, you may add a magnetic strip to the card to change its coding. Card alteration can also happen when you increase the credit limit on a card without the card owner’s permission.
- Credit Card Theft: Credit card theft also comes in several forms itself. It could be taking a credit card without the owner’s consent, signing a credit card without authorization, accepting a mistakenly delivered card, manufacturing a counterfeit card, buying a card from a non-issuer, or accepting a credit card as security on a debt. If you are arrested and have more than two stolen credit cards. New Jersey law presumes that you have committed credit card theft.
- Credit Skimming: Using a device to steal credit card information is called skimming. This type of crime often happens in retail or restaurants where a staff member can use a skimmer on the card while they use it to complete the customer’s transaction.
- Identity Theft or Account Takeover: This crime occurs when you obtain another person’s personal information to get a credit card in the cardholder’s name by reporting a change of address or the original card as stolen.
- Fraudulent Application: Lying to obtain a credit card is illegal. Providing inaccurate information to get a card could mean lying about income, your name, or using inauthentic pieces of identification.
What Are the Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in New Jersey?
Credit card fraud is a third-degree or fourth-degree crime in New Jersey, depending on the circumstances. Any person convicted of a third-degree crime faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Any person convicted of a fourth-degree crime faces up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Additionally, a credit card fraud arrest and conviction will stay on your record unless it is expunged. A criminal history can mean the difference between getting a job and not. An employer may ask for a criminal record check, see the arrest or conviction, and consider you untrustworthy for employment at their company because of the fraudulent nature of the crime.
What are the Defenses for a Credit Card Fraud Charge?
If you are being investigated or accused of credit card fraud in New Jersey, work with the team of former prosecutors at The Bianchi Law Group to prepare a defense or mitigate your penalties.
Several potential defenses could be used, such as:
- You Are a Victim of Identity Theft: If your information was stolen and used to obtain a credit card with false information.
- You Believed You Were Authorized: If you believed you were authorized to use the card
- You Were Coerced: If you were acting under threat of harm.
I’ve Been Accused of Credit Card Fraud, What Do I Do Now?
It is important to know that any credit card fraud case in New Jersey is exceptionally serious and can result in you receiving life-changing penalties. Having the right legal team can provide you with the maximum benefits.
The Bianchi Law Group is comprised of a team of former prosecutors whose experience will provide you with a well-crafted defense. They will aggressively fight for your legal rights, and will not hesitate to bring your case to trial and fight on your behalf to get you the best legal outcome possible. Having the proper legal defense in your corner can make all the difference.
Call the Bianchi Law Group today to discuss your case.