What is Credit Card Fraud in Delaware County?
A person can be arrested and convicted of credit card fraud if they engage in any type of fraudulent activity while using another person’s credit card and they have full knowledge of the following:
• The credit card has been altered or is counterfeit or incomplete
• The owner of the credit card has not authorized the person to use it
• The credit card has been canceled or revoked
Additionally, in Delaware County or anywhere else in the state of Pennsylvania, if the individual attempts to get another person to use a credit card under any of those scenarios, they can be charged with credit card fraud. The person does not even have to actually use the credit card; simply possessing the card and knowing they have not gotten permission from its owner is still charged as the crime of credit fraud. In other words, if someone is found to have another person’s credit card in their possession and did not receive authorization from the card’s owner, it is considered credit card fraud. The same applies if the credit card is counterfeit and the person is fully aware of that.
Penalties and Sentences for Credit Card Fraud in Delaware County
In general, the exact penalties and sentence a person can receive in Delaware County when they have been convicted of the crime of credit card fraud depends on the value of any goods or services they fraudulently received or amount of money they obtained through the credit card. For example, if the individual only obtained an amount of money under $50, they would be charged with a misdemeanor in the second degree, which carries a penalty of a maximum of two years in prison. If the amount was over $50 but less than $500, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor in the first degree, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. However, if the value of the goods or services or the amount of money obtained from the credit card was greater than $500, the individual would be charged with a felony in the third degree, which requires a prison sentence of up to seven years.
It’s also important to know that if a person illegally possesses and uses multiple counterfeit credit cards or cards belonging to other people without their authorization, the individual will be charged separately for each card they fraudulently use. For instance, if a man steals the credit cards of four different people and uses each of them, he would receive four separate charges for committing four individual crimes of credit card fraud.
Possible Defenses to a Charge of Credit Card Fraud
There are certain defenses that a Delaware County credit card fraud lawyer can use in a case. They include the following:
• The defendant fully intended to meet the obligations of the credit card to the issuer
• The defendant lacked knowledge that the credit card was not authorized for them to use or that the card was counterfeit
• The defendant lacked intent to commit credit card fraud
• The credit card actually belonged to the defendant
• The defendant’s age makes it impossible for them to have committed credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is a charge that is very serious whether you are in Delaware County or anywhere else. As a result, you should always get the help of a skilled attorney to defend you in your case.