Computer related fraud and identity theft are as old as the internet itself. Crimes committed online cost banks, retailers and the government billions of dollars every year. As a response, some very aggressive laws have been written around crimes that originate or are furthered by using the internet. Because the internet is not contained to one state almost all online crimes have the potential to be charged federally. If you are charged with a federal crime the stakes are incredibly high and the prosecution is very aggressive.
Millions of credit card and debit card transactions happen every day, most taking only a second or two. As credit and debit transactions continue to replace cash, it makes sense that we are seeing more and more fraud and theft cases related to credit cards. There are multiple ways you can be charged with credit card fraud, a few example scenarios follow:
Like most theft related charges, the consequences are going to be determined by three variables:
|Over $35,000||Up to $100,000||Up to 20 Years|
|$2,500 - $35,000||Up to $20,000||Up to 10 Years|
|$250 - $2,500||Up to $10,000||Up to 5 Years|
|Less than $250||Up to $3,000||Up to 1 Year|
It should also be noted:
While it is technically a separate crime, identity theft and credit card fraud share a lot of elements and are frequently charged together. Identify theft penalties increase with the total loss for the victim as well as the total number of victims. Online identity theft schemes like fake websites and phishing emails can lead to identity theft charges even if you were never successful in stealing anyone’s identity; merely attempting to result in criminal charges.
If you have been accused of or arrested for identity or credit card theft, it’s critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. These cases typically rely heavily around digital data as evidence. To fully assess (and counter, when possible) the evidence the prosecution holds against you takes time. Don’t put your case at a disadvantage by waiting another minute. Contact Mark D. Kelly Criminal Defense today for top-rated and reliable defense strategy and execution.