The stores are flooded with many people out buying gifts for family and friends this holiday season. A large portion of these individuals will likely be using their credit cards and might not otherwise be aware of additional unauthorized purchases on their bank statements. Illinois takes credit card fraud very seriously, and a conviction can see alleged criminals facing lengthy jail sentences. For defense against credit card fraud charges, it would be wise to consult an attorney.
Credit Card Fraud Defined By Illinois Law
Many different crimes can fall under credit card fraud, which include:
- False statements made for the issuance of a credit or debit card
- Possessing someone else’s credit or debit card with intent to make unauthorized purchases
- Knowingly having a lost credit or debit card with the intent to use it to make purchases
- The sale or purchase of a deliberately stolen credit or debit card
- Holding onto a person’s credit or debit card as collateral
- Possessing and using a fake or forged credit or debit card
- Using a credit or debit card with the intent to defraud someone else
Credit card fraud is usually on the rise around the holiday season, as many individuals use them for holiday shopping. They may not notice a charge you made on their credit card even after permitting you to use it. A skillful lawyer can help use this in your defense should you face any charges for credit card fraud in this scenario.
Credit Card Fraud Penalties
The cash value of the items purchased or those the defendant allegedly intended to purchase will determine the severity of the penalties. Most credit card fraud penalties are classified as Class 4 felonies, which are punishable by:
- one to three years imprisonment
- Up to 18 months of periodic imprisonment that allows the offender out on work release or other approved reasons
- Up to 30 months of probation, or
- Up to $25,000 in fines for each offense committed, restitution, or both
Restitution is when you must pay the original credit card holder for the items or the harm caused by your actions. Committing credit card fraud using an expired, revoked, unissued, forged, or counterfeited credit or debit card is a Class 3 felony when more than $300 of property is obtained in six months. Using a credit or debit card intending to defraud is considered a Class A misdemeanor when the property obtained within six months is less than $150. The punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is:
- Less than one year of jail time or periodic imprisonment
- Up to two years of probation
- Up to $2,500 in fines for each offense committed, restitution, or both
I Was Charged With Credit Card Fraud. What Should I Do Now?
The most important thing to do when facing credit card fraud charges is to remain quiet and avoid speaking with police and investigators without an attorney present. The police can use your words against you later in court, so it is always better to keep your mouth shut.
Which brings up your next course of action – get an attorney. Once you can, contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending their clients against credit card fraud charges. A skilled lawyer can help preserve your rights while being questioned and can stand by you in court in your defense.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney
Committing credit card fraud can be an easy crime to pull off, but a conviction can bring jail time that is not so easy. When facing credit card fraud charges, it is important to consult a Naperville, IL, credit card fraud defense lawyer to understand your rights and the charges you face. Contact the [[title]] at [[phone]] for a free consultation and some much-needed legal representation.