Credit Card Fraud Attorney in Westchester County, New York
Credit card fraud can entail a number of different criminal charges, depending on the circumstances of the fraud. These crimes range from misdemeanors to severe felonies. If you have been charged with a crime related to credit card fraud, you should take the time to learn all you can about the possible penalties you could be facing.
At the milder end of the spectrum, credit card fraud can mean Theft of Services or Unlawful Use of Credit Card, Debit Card, or Public Benefit Card. Theft of services is a class A misdemeanor, and it includes cases where you buy or attempt to buy a product or service with a credit card you know to be stolen. Unlawful use of a credit card is also a class A misdemeanor. It occurs when you use a credit card that you know to be revoked or canceled.
Both of the above offenses are class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail. These are serious crimes, but not as serious as the crimes that are described in the next two sections.
Credit Card Fraud—Forgery Charges
Forgery of a credit card is second-degree forgery, which is a class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Second-degree forgery includes the creation, completion, or alteration of a fake credit card. This is done with the intent to deceive, defraud, or injure another person.
Credit Card Fraud—Identity Theft Charges
Credit card fraud can also fall under Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information or Identity Theft.
Unlawful possession of personal identification information means possessing an individual’s credit card or other identifying information with the intent to commit a crime.
Third-degree unlawful possession is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Second-degree unlawful possession occurs when an individual possesses 250 or more pieces of identifying information. It is a class E felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
Unlawful possession in the first degree occurs when someone commits second-degree possession with at least three accomplices or is a repeat offender. Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the first degree is a class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
The “classic” case of credit card fraud is identity theft. Identity theft happens when you use the other person’s identifying information to procure goods or services.
Third-degree identity theft is a class A misdemeanor, covering cases of identity theft where the value of the goods or services procured is less than five hundred dollars.
Second-degree identity theft covers cases where the amount is between $500 and $2000 and is a class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
First-degree identity theft is a class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years. It covers cases where the amount is over $2,000.
What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested
If you’ve been arrested, do not speak to the police officers about the facts of the case, you will not be able to talk your way out of an arrest. You can tell them that you want to speak to an attorney, and they are not supposed to speak to you any further about the case. Comply with the officer’s request for pedigree information, and politely ask to speak with an attorney. Anything you say is much more likely to incriminate you than to improve your position. Remember: You have the right to remain silent. It’s important that you use it.
Once you’ve been arrested, it’s time for you to think seriously about how you plan on defending yourself from these charges. The state takes credit card fraud seriously, and by the time you are arrested, prosecutors have already built a case against you. You need an experienced attorney to come up with a plan to defend you. A good attorney can be the difference between a guilty or a not-guilty verdict. A good attorney can be the difference between a light sentence and serving the maximum time allowable by law. Make sure you get the best attorney you can.
Contact Us Today
If you find yourself in need of legal counsel, contact The Law Office of Michael D. Litman online or call us today.