Most Americans actively use a credit card or debit card for making purchases. It is easy and convenient, however, it can put many at risk for credit card fraud. As many as 72% of Americans have at least one credit card according to the Federal Reserve data that was released in 2014. As most people know, owning and using a credit card or debit card puts a person at risk for credit card fraud.
What if you or your love one has been accused of credit card fraud?
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit or debit card fraud happens when an individual illegally uses another person’s credit or debit card to pay or purchase items or use for services. Opening a new account in another person’s name and using that card for purchases is another form of credit or debit card fraud.
It is important to note that a criminal does not need to have the credit card or debit card in hand for it to be considered stolen. A criminal can simply use the number on the card in order to steal goods.
In addition, credit card and debit card fraud can fall under the form of identity theft because a person purchases are made with the intention of not personally paying for the items. Credit cards can also include gift cards or rebate cards are also considered under the credit card laws.
Credit Card Fraud Penalties in Michigan
In Michigan, the penalties for credit card fraud can be harsh. According to the Michigan Penal Code, they refer to FTD or Financial Transaction Device. This includes: credit cards, banking cards, electronic funds transfer, or gift card or any account number. The punishments under Michigan law include:
- For stealing what is known as a FTD, a person can face a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and up to four years in prison.
- A person is punishable by fine of not more than $5,000 and can serve up to four years in prison if they are caught in possession of a FTD with the intent to use.
- If a person is found guilty of forgery, they can face a fine of up to $5,000 and up to four years in prison.
- The amount of money spent on goods and services will impact the penalty. It is possible that a person can face only a misdemeanor. However, when more significant funds were spent, it can fall into a felony category.
- An example of a felony conviction would involve $20,000 or more in funds withdrawn or transferred. This would be punishable by “imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $15,000.00 or 3 times the amount of funds withdrawn or transferred, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.”
Seek an Experienced Defense Attorney
There are many reasons a person might find themselves in a situation where they are being charged with credit card fraud. If you are facing charges for related to stealing, selling, being in possession of a FTD, you are looking at facing at minimum a misdemeanor charge. For more severe cases, you could be facing a felony and fines.
It is important to seek advice from an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. There is a lot that can be done in your defense.
Call us today and start fighting for your freedom.