Edison NJ Credit Card Fraud Attorney
Lawyers for Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards in Middlesex County, New Jersey
In New Jersey, credit card fraud is a serious felony and indictable offense that, if convicted, is punishable by thousands of dollars in fines and restitution, probation, and lengthy prison time. If you are facing Middlesex County credit card fraud charges, then you should seriously consider retaining sound legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help navigate the court system and work with the prosecutor on your behalf in an effort to avoid or minimize your potential penalties. Our founding attorney, Will Proetta, has handled many criminal and municipal charges including the defense of clients against credit card fraud throughout New Jersey. Our firm represents individuals charged with fraudulent use of credit cards in Middlesex County and surrounding areas such as Plainsboro, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, South Plainfield, Old Bridge, Monroe and Carteret. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime of credit card fraud in Middlesex County or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact us today. Our office is conveniently located in Edison and we offer a free initial consultation. A representative is available 24/7 at (732) 659-9600.
What Does The New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Law Say?
Credit card fraud includes a number of different scenarios such as using a stolen credit card to purchase merchandise, making a fake credit card with your name but someone else’s information, or stealing another’s information online and using it to purchase online merchandise. The law regarding credit card fraud in New Jersey is listed below, in pertinent part, for your reading convenience.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(h) Fraudulent use of credit cards.
A person who knowingly uses any counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, lost, stolen or fraudulently obtained credit card to obtain money, goods or services, or anything else of value; or who, with unlawful or fraudulent intent, furnishes, acquires, or uses any actual or fictitious credit card, whether alone or together with names of credit cardholders, or other information pertaining to a credit card account in any form, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
What Is The Punishment & Sentencing For Credit Card Fraud?
Credit Card Fraud is a Third Degree Indictable Offense
If convicted you of fraudulent use of a credit card could face a maximum of 3 – 5 years in state prison. There is a presumption against state prison incarceration for a first time offender, however, that does not protect you against up to 364 days in Middlesex County Jail which can be given as a condition of probation.
Credit Card Theft Lawyers in New Brunswick, NJ
Although both credit card fraud and theft of a credit card are addressed under the same statute 2C:21-6, they are very different and distinct crimes and carry different penalties. They are sometimes charged in tandem when a credit card is first stolen from a victim and then later used by that same person. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office takes these cases very seriously and has increased their pressure on defendants charged with credit card theft as these crimes become more and more common in our area. Credit cards are small, easily concealable and can be used to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandise such as electronics in just minutes. These features make credit cards highly sought after for would-be thieves and even sometimes too tempting to pass up for a person who just accidentally just comes across a lost or misplaced credit card in a store and commits a crime of convenience.
New Jersey Law & Penalties For Theft Of A Credit Card
The New Jersey Law for credit card theft primarily includes two forms of conduct that constitute guilt. The first scenario is fairly obvious – you take someone’s credit card without their permission then use it or plan to use it. The second scenario is sometimes less obvious for people and falls into a category known as an opportunistic crime. In this scenario you find that the credit card company has sent you another person’s credit card in the mail or maybe you find a lost wallet with credits inside. If you do not notify the authorities and make steps to return the credit card, then you could very well be charged with credit card theft if the police believe your actions demonstrated you planned to keep and use the card. These two forms of credit card theft are illustrated in excerpt of the statute below.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(c) Credit card theft.
(1) A person who takes or obtains a credit card from the person, possession, custody or control of another without the cardholder’s consent or who, with knowledge that it has been so taken, receives the credit card with intent to use it or to sell it, or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. Taking a credit card without consent includes obtaining it by any conduct defined and prescribed in Chapter 20 of this title, Theft and Related Offenses.
(2) A person who receives a credit card that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the identity or address of the cardholder, and who retains possession with intent to use it or to sell it or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
Credit Card Theft is a Fourth Degree Indictable Offense
If convicted of possessing a stolen credit card you could face a maximum of 18 months in state prison. However, similar to a third degree, there is a presumption against state prison incarceration for a first time offender. Although the presumption against state prison does not automatically protect you from any incarceration as a first time offender because the judge could still sentence you to up to 364 days in Middlesex County Jail as a condition of your probation.
How Can They Prove I Stole These Credit Cards?
In order for you to find the defendant guilty, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant took or obtained a credit card from the person, possession, custody, or control of another;
- That the credit card was taken without the cardholder’s consent and;
- That the defendant acted knowingly.
It is important to note that the law recognizes that in situations where a defendant has either (1) credits cards with two or more names on them, or (2) two or more stolen credit cards it gives rise to an inference that the defendant obtained these credit cards without consent.
Speak with a South Plainfield NJ Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer Today
As referenced above, credit card fraud is graded as a third degree indictable offense which is also classified as a felony. These charges are handled in the Middlesex County Superior Court. Due to the nature and circumstances of the crime that typically involve a stolen credit card, our attorneys often handle credit card fraud charges with related crimes such as Theft by Deception. It is very important that you understand that indictable crimes carry serious penalties, and also give rise to complicated issues that require the litigation skills of an experienced criminal lawyer. At Proetta & Oliver, our lawyers dedicate a major area of their practice to exclusively representing defendants for criminal and municipal charges, and have handled countless cases just like yours. We will work with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to seek an amendment of your charge to a less serious violation or help secure your admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention so that your charges can be ultimately dismissed upon completion.
Our law firm represents clients who have been arrested for credit card fraud throughout Middlesex County and New Jersey including South Amboy, Monroe, Piscataway, Edison, Sayreville, and South Plainfield. If you or a loved one has been charged with credit card fraud or a related charge, contact our Edison office today for a free initial consultation at (732) 659-9600.