Credit card fraud is abundant in the United States, and millions of people become the victims of credit card fraud annually. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a crime that pays well for those who want to make a little money using cards belonging to other people. California penal codes are in place to protect consumers against credit card fraud in many aspects, but it’s a crime that occurs regularly. If you are arrested and charged with credit card fraud, you should know how the law works and what you can do to defend yourself.
What is credit card fraud?
California law defines credit card fraud as any fraudulent attempt to take and use the credit or debit card information of another person with the intent to defraud them for personal gain. It’s fraudulent if you did not have permission and the crime financially benefits you while harming the original owner of the credit card.
– Using someone else’s card without their permission
– Using your own card to make purchases you know you cannot afford that will not be paid for
– Using a stolen card or using stolen information to create a credit card to use
These are all crimes that are punishable by a court of law in California, though there are extenuating circumstances in each situation. Every case of credit card fraud is different, and no two cases are penalized or handled the same.
Penalties for Credit Card Fraud
There’s no one way a credit card fraud case is penalized in California. The law protects those whose identities and money is stolen, but it also works to crack down on this type of crime by preventing it from harming another person. These penalties are the most common in many situations.
– Forgery credit card fraud crimes are punishable by as few as 16 months or as many as three years in a county jail in addition to fines up to $10,000 if it is a felony charge and up to one year and as much as $1,000 in fines if it’s considered a misdemeanor charge
– Grand theft crimes are punishable as a felony charge and result in as few as 16 months and as many as three years in a county jail in addition to fines of up to $10,000
– Petty theft is a misdemeanor crime that’s punishable b up to six months in county jail and fines up to $1,000
If you are arrested and charged with credit card fraud, you do have some defenses to work with. You can defend yourself in a court of law or you can hire an attorney to help you fight your punishments. The most common defenses include the fact you didn’t mean to commit fraud. For example, you aren’t the person in charge of keeping track of how much money you have in your checking account, and your spouse told you to go ahead and go to the supermarket despite the fact he or she knew you didn’t have the money to cover the cost of the purchase.
Another common defense is there simply isn’t enough evidence to convict you. Additionally, you could be the victim of mistaken identity. If you are arrested and charged with credit card fraud, call an attorney to find out what defense you should use in a court of law and how you can work to clearing your name.
An attorney is here to help you with your case, and you are legally entitled to call an attorney the moment you are arrested. Yet another defense is that the arresting officer on the case did not handle the law accordingly. Something as minor as forgetting to read you the rights to which you are entitled can result in the charges being brought against you being thrown out. It’s helpful to call an attorney who has ample experience in this area of the law so you can find the best defense and protect yourself from a serious penalty. Credit card fraud is taken seriously in California, and you need the best defense possible to ensure you’re not found guilty.