Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers have over 25 years
of combined legal practice – handling some of the
toughest cases in the country.
SKA Law is a premier, Philadelphia criminal defense law firm, founded by professional criminal attorneys. We take on cases other law firms turn down, because we know how to fight – and when to negotiate. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. No fluff. No nonsense. Our focus is results.
SKA Law takes on fewer clients than other firms – it’s because we believe that taking on fewer clients means we can provide more service, and better results.
Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys are available 24/7- regardless of the holiday, or time of week. We are always available to help you.
We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
Credit card fraud is a growing problem in the United States. As a result, prosecutors are becoming increasingly vigilant about pursuing convictions. If you or a loved one in Montgomery County has been accused of this crime, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
Credit card fraud is defined as any time a person uses a credit card in a dishonest or fraudulent manner. The following circumstances qualify in the state of Pennsylvania:
You do not even have to use a fraudulent credit card in order to be charged. Even having such a card is defined as fraud. In addition, the prosecutors have to show that you did this knowingly. If you have two or more fraudulent cards, this is seen as evidence of being aware. However, intent can be very difficult to prove otherwise.
The penalties for credit card fraud in Pennsylvania are particularly high. The exact punishment depends on the extent of the fraud and the circumstances in which it was committed.
If the amount of fraud comes to less than $50, the crime is a second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, this crime carries a prison sentence of up to two years. If the fraud was between $50 and $500, the offense is a first-degree felony carrying a sentence of up to five years.
When the amount of fraud exceeds $500, the offense becomes a third-degree felony. This carries prison time of up to seven years.
Each time a card is used, that is a separate charge. In addition, there is one charge for each card that the accused had. If a person has two fraudulent credit cards, for example, they will be charged with two crimes and given two separate prison sentences. Thus, even minor fraud can lead to decades in prison if convicted.
In addition to prison time, there can be other consequences. You may have to pay fines and spend time on probation. A conviction of fraud also can have other consequences. People often struggle to find a job and to complete basic banking tasks when this comes up in a background check. This is particularly true if you work in any field where you handle money.
When you are accused of a serious crime, you need help. Our Montgomery County credit card fraud lawyers are here to help you get the best possible outcome. We will work tirelessly to prove your innocence and argue for minimal consequences.
There are several strategies that we have used successfully to defend people like you. We can argue that you were not aware of the fraudulent nature of the cards. We can provide evidence that you used them in good faith. These are especially powerful arguments when the accused has otherwise been responsible and made good financial decisions.
In addition, we will ensure that the government did not violate your rights while collecting and processing evidence. Even small infractions can lead to evidence being inadmissible in courts. We will ensure that your rights as a citizen are preserved and that you are treated as innocent until proven guilty.
Our lawyers can help defend people against charges of credit card fraud. To find out we can help you, contact our offices today for a free consultation.
It happens when someone has assets including property or funds that law enforcement believes is connected to a crime. The property or funds can be seized by law enforcement. It can happen even if someone hasn’t been charged or convicted of a crime. Once a person has their assets seized, it can be extremely difficult to get them returned. The victim of an illegitimate civil asset forfeiture will need the help of an experienced criminal attorney to get back their assets and property.
Pennsylvania Civil Asset Seizure
Profits are made from forfeited assets in Pennsylvania. These assets often go right into the budgets of local law enforcement agencies. This makes the civil asset forfeiture laws very problematic. On the surface, civil asset seizures may seem beneficial. Unfortunately, it is an incentive that rewards law enforcement for seizing property and funds even when it is not right for them to have done it. This has developed into an epidemic in Pennsylvania. There is proof that large amounts of money is being obtained from forfeited assets. The Institute for Justice tracks money obtained by law enforcement. According to this organization, police officers in Pennsylvania sized over 10 million dollars in assets during a single year. Things sized by law enforcement include cars, houses as well as significant amounts of money and more.
Strip Criminals Of Resources
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states the original idea behind civil asset forfeitures was a belief it would take away the resources of major criminals. Too many times it has been used to take advantage of people who have not committed any crimes and don’t have a way to fight back. In Pennsylvania, when someone has their assets seized, they are not given constitutional protections that could require a criminal trial. They aren’t given the right to legal counsel. It is common for the cost of paying for legal representation to be more than the cost of the forfeited assets. This is the reason not many people go forward with fighting to get back their property. The United States Department of Justice states that over 89 percent of assets wrongly seized are never returned to the owner of them.
Getting Assets Back
Once an individual has their assets seized in Pennsylvania, they will have 30 days to file a petition to contest the asset seizure. Should someone not do this, their property will be sold at an auction. The proceeds from the auction will then be placed in budget of law enforcement agencies. Should someone want to try and get their assets back, they will need to make their case in court. This is a time when it’s essential to hire an experienced attorney. These legal professionals will know how to present evidence showing a person’s assets weren’t part of any criminal activity. An attorney can help them deal with the complicated legal process that will follow.
Individuals who are victims of asset forfeiture have a devastating experience. It’s important to know that using the right legal defense provides a good chance of reversing the damage. In one year, the ACLU did help a man in Pennsylvania get back the funds that were taken from him during a traffic stop. This man was stopped by law enforcement. He agreed to let the police conduct a vehicle search. During the consensual search, the police discovered more than $30,000 worth of ecstasy and marijuana in the vehicle. Law enforcement seized the man’s cash without having any proof the cash was part of any criminal activity. During the court case, the man’s attorneys were able to prove the funds were not part of any criminal activity. The man’s money was returned to him. Had this individual not pursued legal action, he would have lost a significant amount of money.
Since law enforcement has a financial incentive for asset forfeiture, it will remain a way for people to be victimized. When people have small items seized by law enforcement, it may not be worth the time or money to pursue it. Should someone have lost their car, house or valuable pieces of property, they should file a petition and then get legal representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know what is required to make law enforcement return assets they wrongly seized.