Prince George’s County Credit Card Fraud Lawyer
Credit card fraud may be one of the most common white collar crimes committed in Prince George’s County. Sometimes, individuals can commit actions that constitute credit card fraud without even being aware of the violation. For instance, they may use a card number to pay for merchandise believing they have the authorization to do so when they legally do not.
Credit card fraud is treated as a serious offense, so it is wise for anyone charged with this crime to consult a knowledgeable Prince George’s County credit card fraud lawyer to learn how they may be able to fight the charges. An experienced defense attorney could explain the potential consequences and options for defense.
Overview of Credit Card Fraud Laws
In general, fraud occurs when someone knowingly uses false information to gain something of value with the expectation that others will rely on false information. For instance, if a seller accepts a large fee for a stone represented to be a diamond when the seller knows the stone is actually quartz and worth much less, that would be considered an act of fraud.
In the case of credit card fraud, a person may violate the laws in several ways. For instance, someone may commit credit card fraud by using false information to obtain credit, by taking a credit card or number that does not belong them, by creating fake credit cards, or by using someone else’s credit to purchase goods or services.
Different actions are addressed under separate state statutes with different penalties. If a person commits several credit card fraud violations “as part of one scheme or a continuing course of conduct,” then under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §8-202, the value of the property involved in these violations may be added together and the offense may be treated as a single violation. This may substantially increase the severity of the offense and therefore the resulting penalties. Someone who is accused of committing a fraud offense with a credit card should speak with an aggressive Prince George’s County credit card fraud lawyer immediately.
Making False Statements to Gain a Credit Card
If an individual makes a false statement in writing about their identity or someone else’s identity in order to obtain a credit card, then that person has violated Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §8-203. However, to be convicted of violating this statute, the person making the false statement must know it was false and intended for the card issuer to rely on that false statement.
This crime is classified as a misdemeanor. Those convicted may be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $500.
Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §8-206 contains several provisions prohibiting the fraudulent use of a credit card. An individual may violate this statute by:
- Using a counterfeit credit card to obtain something of value
- Using a stolen credit card to obtain something of value
- Falsely representing that they are the owner of a credit card and using it without permission to obtain something of value
- Using a credit card to obtain something of value by representing that they are the holder of a card that has not been issued
The penalties for violating this statute depend on the value of the property obtained through fraudulent use of the credit card. If the value is less than $1,500, then the offense will be treated as a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum term of imprisonment of one year (or 90 days if the property is worth less than $100)
If the value is $1,500 or greater, the offense is considered a felony and the potential period of incarceration increases substantially. Fines of $10,000 or more may also be assessed. The penalties for the fraudulent use of a credit card can be severe, which is why defendants should seek the services of an accomplished defense lawyer.
Consult with a Prince George’s County Credit Card Fraud Attorney
Credit card fraud offenses addressed in state criminal law also include credit card counterfeiting, credit card theft, and other crimes. In addition to the criminal penalties that may be levied for these offenses, a conviction also creates a damaging criminal record that may interfere with employment opportunities, housing and loan applications, and other aspects of life.
Fortunately, a Prince George’s County credit card fraud lawyer could make the most of defensive strategies to fight the charges. Call now to learn more.