Fraudulent use of a Credit Card in Orlando
According to Florida Statute §817.61, an individual may be found guilty of fraudulent use of a credit card when he or she intentionally defrauds a merchant using a credit card that the person obtained unlawfully, knew to be forged, or presented under the pretense that the actual holder of the card gave his/her permission to be used, and obtained merchandise, services, money, or anything valuable from the merchant. At Adams & Luka, our Orlando fraud defense attorneys work diligently to protect the legal rights and freedom of those accused of fraudulent use of a credit card. We know that while these types of charges do not typically involve violence, the consequences can be just as damaging. It is vital to obtain the support of a lawyer who is not only skilled in the courtroom, but dedicated to building a solid, effective defense.
There are various forms credit card fraud can take, including:
- Internet credit card fraud involves hackers who may monitor a customer's entry into a vendor's purchasing system and steal the data in order to use the credit card information for their own online transactions (purchases).
- Skimming is a process in which a merchant makes copies of a customer's credit card payment and then sells the information to a black market.
- Mail non-receipt fraud occurs when the authorized customer does no receive a new or replacement card, as it is intercepted by someone else in the mail.
- Charge-back fraud may occur when the customer actually uses the card to make a purchase or pay for goods, then claims that the transaction listed on the statement is not legitimate.
Regardless of your situation, it is important to consult with a capable and aggressive Orlando credit card fraud attorney at once.Defenses to Charges of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card in Florida
Credit card fraud may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of your case and the value of the merchandise/goods or services involved. While there are pretrial and trial defenses that are often used regardless of the type of criminal case including insufficient evidence, specific defense strategies which may prove to be effective against charges of fraudulent use of a credit card include:
Intent to defraud - the state must prove that at the time of the transaction, the defendant intended to defraud the merchant. If the defendant makes clear that he/she is not the cardholder and intends to repay the cardholder, the intent necessary for a conviction is lacking.
Double jeopardy - Theft and credit card offenses are generally considered varying degrees of the same offense in Florida, therefore if the defendant is charged with more than one offense, he/she can only be convicted once. Double jeopardy may be grounds for dismissal of additional or subsequent charges.Criminal Penalties for Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card in Orlando & Central Florida
The severity of the penalties you may face if convicted of credit card fraud depend on several factors including the number of times the card was used over a six-month time period, or the monetary value of the merchandise/goods purchased within six months.
A misdemeanor conviction will result if the credit card purchases totaled less than $100, and was used less than two times. Penalties may include:
- A maximum of one (1) year in jail
- A maximum of one (1) year probation
- Maximum fines of $1,000
A felony conviction may result if the credit card was used to obtain items valued at more than $100, and the card used more than two times. Penalties may include:
- A maximum of five (5) years in prison
- A maximum of five (5) years probation
- Maximum fines of $5,000
Individuals convicted of fraudulent use of a credit card will also have a criminal record which can negatively impact career, future employment opportunities, housing, an more.Contact Adams & Luka Now
As you can see, credit card fraud is not a crime that should be taken lightly. Whether you have been falsely accused or made a mistake, protecting your freedom and future is vital, and action should be taken immediately to develop a solid defense strategy. We take your case seriously, providing you with the legal guidance and support essential to reaching your desired result. Call us now for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.