New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer
Top-Rated Lawyer Defends Clients Accused of Credit Card Fraud in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Union County, Ocean County, and Burlington County, NJ
At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, I defend clients who have been arrested for, or charged with, credit card fraud in New Jersey. Contrary to widespread belief, the prosecution does not have to prove that you actually used a stolen credit card to obtain something of value to convict you on credit card fraud. The prosecution can charge you with credit card fraud based on three types of actions, including:
- Making false statements to obtain a credit card
- Fraudulent use of a credit card
- Credit card theft
The prosecution might also add charges. These can include charges like identity theft or other theft crimes. As a former prosecutor myself, I am familiar with these tactics and the prosecutor’s reasons for using them.
I believe that every client deserves the strongest criminal defense possible. In every case, I use the full extent of my skills to fight for my clients’ rights. I understand the laws and know the legal defenses that will work, and I also have the real-world experience needed to successfully carry out a defense strategy in court.
If you are being investigated for credit card fraud, have been arrested or are already facing charges, time is of the essence. As a skilled credit card fraud defense lawyer, I can begin work investigating your case immediately. To discuss defense options and learn more about my practice, schedule a free case review today. You can either call or fill out an online contact form through our website.
Understanding Credit Card Fraud: NJSA 2C:21-6
Credit card fraud is the legal name given to a range of activities involving fraud related to credit cards. The widespread availability of the internet and technology have expanded the reach of credit card fraud law to extend to fraudulent activities conducted online or remotely.
Examples of credit card fraud under NJSA 2C:21-6 include:
- Lying about your financial history to obtain a credit card
- “Skimming” credit card information at a sale point, such as a gas pump
- Hacking into a credit card account online to make purchases
- Increasing the limit on someone else’s credit card without their permission
- Applying for a credit card using someone else’s name and personal information
- Using a credit card while knowing it was expired, revoked or forged
- Pretending to be the cardholder without authority
Importantly, under NJSA 2C:21-6(b) and (c), the mere intent to defraud is sufficient to convict. You do not have to actually obtain anything of value, and you can also be charged if you fail in your attempt to commit fraud.
NJSA 2C:21-6(g) also makes it a crime to receive money, items or anything of value if you knew (or believed) that it was obtained through credit card fraud.
Credit Card Theft is Credit Card Fraud Under NJSA 2C:21-6(c)
The most common credit card fraud charge in New Jersey is credit card theft. Like most other offenses, the definition of credit card theft is specific and detailed. Credit card theft is:
- Taking someone else’s credit card without their consent
- Receiving a credit card that was either lost, misplaced or delivered by mistake
- Buying or selling a credit card (from someone who is not the original credit card issuer…in other words, the transfer of stolen credit cards is also credit card fraud)
- Making a counterfeit or false credit card, including modifying an existing debit or credit card
- Signing a credit card without the cardholder’s authorization
- Obtaining a credit card to secure a debt
All forms of credit card fraud are considered theft crimes. When you have a theft crime on your record, it can be particularly difficult to find a job even after you have completed your punishment. Employers tend to distrust job candidates who have a history of stealing under any circumstances. Theft is also considered a “crime involving moral turpitude.” This can have disastrous immigration consequences for non-citizens. Having a skilled credit card fraud defense lawyer on your side is key to getting the best outcome possible to avoid these negative consequences.
Penalties for Credit Card Fraud
New Jersey law categorizes credit card fraud as either a third-degree or fourth-degree felony-level offense. The severity of the charge depends upon the circumstances and specific facts of your case. Basic penalties include:
- Fourth-degree charges carry up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-degree charges can result in between three and five years in prison, as well as $15,000 in fines
While there is a presumption against incarceration for first offenders, this is no guarantee that a judge will not order prison time. The two biggest factors in this decision will be the amount of any loss and your previous record. I will fight to keep you out of jail and to keep your record clean. To learn more about defense options in your specific case, call my office today.
Contact an Experienced Woodbridge NJ Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer for Help Today
The New Jersey credit card law is complex and detailed. With over a decade’s worth of experience, I have what it takes to defend against credit card fraud charges. Lack of intent, mistakes in circumstances, illegally obtained evidence and even having the cardholder’s permission can all form the basis for a strong defense depending upon the facts.
I offer competitive pricing and payment options—and your first consultation is always free, so there is no risk in learning more about your rights. Call my office or fill out this online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Credit Card Fraud Defense
Credit card fraud is different, yes. It is true that New Jersey bases the punishment for shoplifting—a theft crime—on the value of the stolen goods. The prosecution does not have to prove that you actually stole anything of value to convict on credit card fraud charges, however, intent to defraud is sufficient.
If you knew, or believed, that the credit card had been obtained fraudulently, you can be charged with credit card fraud under NJSA 2C:21-6(h). The statute is broadly constructed and specifically includes situations where a person knowingly benefits from the fraudulent activity of another.