Philadelphia Credit Card Fraud Attorneys
Representing Criminal Defendants Charged with Credit Card Fraud in Philadelphia
Credit card fraud falls under the umbrella of white collar crimes—or crimes which are usually committed by professionals. Like other white collar crimes, credit card fraud is normally prosecuted in federal courts. However, in addition to being charged with credit card fraud, you may also incur related state charges, such as identity theft. You can be charged with and prosecuted for credit card fraud in federal court if an issue or question of federal law is involved in your case.
It is important to understand that federal white collar crime convictions, including convictions for credit card fraud, may result in serious penalties. These penalties may include high fines or long periods of incarceration. In fact, a conviction for multiple counts of fraud could lead to up to 20 years of imprisonment.
If you have been charged with credit card fraud, time may be of the essence in your case. When it comes to these very serious charges and potential penalties, defending yourself is not usually a good idea. Rather, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side safeguarding your legal rights and providing you with zealous representation throughout your case and in court.
Philadelphia credit card fraud defense lawyer Brian Zeiger has many years of experience representing criminal defendants in both state and federal courts. He can review the facts and circumstances of your charge with you and can help you formulate a good legal defense to your charge. He can also represent you in court and may be able to help you obtain a favorable plea deal from the prosecution. If you are ultimately found guilty of credit card fraud, Attorney Brian Zeiger may be able to help you obtain a penalty reduction and minimize the effect of the conviction on your life.
Defining Credit Card Fraud
Under federal law, credit card fraud refers to the fraudulent use or representation of a credit account. The most common type of credit card fraud involves lost or stolen credit cards, where the accused steals a credit card from someone else and attempts to make a purchase with it.
Most credit card fraud occurs over the internet. This is because in order to make a purchase, the accused only needs to use the information located on the card – and because it is easier to avoid verification with online purchases, as opposed to purchases made at a traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In addition to online fraud, credit cards may also be intercepted through the federal mail system and then used illegally.
Credit card fraud is usually prosecuted at the federal level under the guise of “illegal use of access services” – or illegal use of any device to facilitate or accomplish the crime of fraud, such as a computer.
State Crimes Related to Credit Card Fraud
One of the biggest problems with federal credit card fraud charges is that they may also be accompanied by related state charges. These charges may include one or more of the following:
- Identity theft
- Mail fraud
- Internet fraud
Burden of Proof
In a federal criminal case, the prosecution always has the burden of proof. Under Title 18 U.S.C. § 1029, in order to convict a person of credit card fraud, the prosecution must prove all of the following elements:
- That the accused knowingly used one or more devices (i.e. a credit card) which belonged to another person.
- That the accused had the specific intent to defraud another person.
- That the accused obtained something valued at $1,000 or more during a one-year period.
- That the accused’s use of the device affected interstate commerce.
- Intent to defraud means one of the following:
- The intent to bring about harm to another person.
- The intent to bring about a benefit to oneself through deception.
If the accused is found guilty of violating this section and convicted of credit card fraud, then he or she may be incarcerated 10 years for a first offense. A second offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.
Contact a Philadelphia Credit Card Fraud Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If you have been charged with credit card fraud in federal court and/or incurred related state charges, Attorney Brian Zeiger may be able to assist you with formulating a good legal defense to your charge, obtaining a favorable plea deal from the prosecution, or obtaining a lighter criminal sentence upon conviction. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Philadelphia credit card fraud attorney, please call us or contact us online.