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Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer in Miami
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The growth of online purchases and increasing concerns about carrying cash have led to more people using credit and debit cards. The popularity has not only led to more merchants accepting these forms of payment, but also instances of alleged fraud involving credit, debit, and gift cards.
If you have been charged with this type of fraud or a related theft offense, an experienced Miami credit card fraud attorney can evaluate your situation. At The Hoffman Firm, our criminal defense attorney, Evan Hoffman, aggressively defends clients accused of federal white collar crimes in South Miami, Coral Gables, Aventura, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale, and many surrounding communities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
What Is Credit Card Fraud?
Fraudulent purchases made online with credit or debit cards are often found to implicate interstate or foreign commerce and therefore violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The alleged crimes will usually fall under federal prosecutors’ jurisdiction.
“Access devices” are defined under 18 U.S. Code section 1029 as any code, card, account number, plate, electronic serial number, personal identification number, mobile identification number, or other telecommunications equipment, service, instrument identifier, or other means of account access that can be utilized, either alone or in connection with a different access device to get services, goods, money, or other things of value. They can also be used to initiate a transfer of funds.
You can be convicted under state law if a prosecutor proves the elements of fraudulent use of credit cards under Florida Statutes section 817.61. You can be charged if you:
- Use a credit card intending to defraud a merchant;
- The credit card was illegally obtained and known to be forged or presented under a pretense that the true credit card holder authorized the use, and;
- You got money, services, goods, or something else of value from the merchant.
If you use a credit card repeatedly in this fraudulent way during a six month period, all of these will be treated as one crime under Florida law. The penalties you’ll face will depend on the value of the goods in that period of time and how many times you used the credit card in the six-month period. You can be charged with a felony for using a credit card fraudulently two times within six months. A knowledgeable while collar crime lawyer can help you defend yourself against both felony and misdemeanor charges in this area.
Several forms of fraud and related activity in connection with access devices are established under 18 U.S. Code § 10.
An alleged offender could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 if he or she:
- Knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses, or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices;
- Knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics in or uses one or more unauthorized access devices during any one-year period, and by such conduct obtains anything of value aggregating $1,000 or more during that period;
- Knowingly and with intent to defraud possesses 15 or more devices which are counterfeit or unauthorized access devices;
- Without the authorization of the issuer of the access device, knowingly and with intent to defraud solicits a person for the purpose of offering an access device or selling information regarding or an application to obtain an access device;
- Knowingly and with intent to defraud uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses a telecommunications instrument that has been modified or altered to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunications services; or
- Without the authorization of the credit card system member or its agent, knowingly and with intent to defraud causes or arranges for another person to present to the member or its agent, for payment, one or more evidences or records of transactions made by an access device.
Under the same statute, an alleged offender could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 if he or she:
- Knowingly, and with intent to defraud, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses device-making equipment;
- Knowingly and with intent to defraud effects transactions, with one or more access devices issued to another person or persons, to receive payment or any other thing of value during any one-year period the aggregate value of which is equal to or greater than $1,000;
- Knowingly and with intent to defraud uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses a scanning receiver; or
- Knowingly uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses hardware or software, knowing it has been configured to insert or modify telecommunication identifying information associated with or contained in a telecommunications instrument so that such instrument may be used to obtain telecommunications service without authorization.
It is important to note that attempts to commit any of the offenses listed above are subject to the same punishments. An alleged offender who is party to a conspiracy of two or more persons to commit any of the offenses listed above is subject to the same maximum fines but one-half of the maximum periods of imprisonment.
Federal Charges Related to Credit Card Fraud
When a person is accused of credit or debit card, it will often be one of multiple criminal charges filed by the federal government.
Some of the other crimes that alleged offenders may be accused of in addition to fraud relating to access devices can include, but are not limited to:
- Bank fraud
- Computer fraud
- Email fraud
- Identity theft
- Mail fraud
- Making false statements
- Telemarketing fraud
- Wire fraud
Contact The Hoffman Firm Today
If you are charged with credit card fraud or a similar offense, do not wait to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. These cases often move quickly; the prosecution is likely already building its case against you, and you can’t afford to wait to speak to a Miami credit card fraud lawyer about your legal rights and defense options.
Client-Focused RepresentationOur Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.
Decades of ExperienceAttorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.
Premier Criminal Defense FirmExperienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.
Proven Track RecordClient satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.
Florida Former State ProsecutorAttorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.
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