Monroe NJ Credit Card Theft Lawyers
Credit cards are everywhere in New Jersey and across the country. In fact, many people have ceased carrying cash altogether given how common credit cards are. Credit card theft has become increasingly common as a result. New Jersey law criminalizes several different types of credit card theft, and the punishments for such a conviction can be severe. If you or a loved one has been charged with credit card theft, is is important to understand New Jersey’s credit card theft laws, what conduct actually constitutes credit card theft, and the penalties that you may face if convicted. If you are seeking a lawyer who can help challenge the accusations for credit card theft against you or a loved one, our firm is here for you. We are a diligent team of criminal defense attorneys who provide skilled representation for those accused of credit card theft throughout Middlesex County, including in New Brunswick, Woodbridge, East Brunswick, Monroe, Old Bridge, and South Amboy. Having practiced solely criminal defense for many years, we combine knowledge, experience, and local relationships in the Middlesex County area to deliver the best possible results to our clients. Call (732) 659-9600 to discuss your case with an attorney at our firm free of charge, or contact us online to arrange an appointment at our local office in Edison.
What is Credit Card Theft in New Jersey?
Section N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6c of the New Jersey criminal statutes explains several different types of credit card theft. First, the law makes it a crime to take a credit card from a person without their consent. The law also prohibits you from knowingly receiving a stolen credit card with the intent to use that card, sell it, or pass it along to another person. Under this statute, a person is presumed to have carried out one of these illegal acts if they have two or more credits cards issued in other people’s names or two or more stolen credit cards in their possession. Second, this law makes it a crime for you to receive or keep a credit card that you know has been lost or delivered by mistake to the wrong person if you keep the card and plan to use it, sell it, or give it to someone else.
Third, it criminalizes selling a credit card or buying a credit card obtained from someone other than the card issuer. Fourth, it is illegal to take control of a credit card as security on a debt. Fifth, it is illegal to make a false credit card, for example by embossing it, if you plan to use that fake card to cheat someone else out of money, goods, or services. Finally, it is a crime to sign a credit card if you are not the cardholder. If you possess more than one credit card that has been falsely signed, you are presumed to have violated NJ 2C:21-6c.
Common Examples of Credit Card Theft
As the statute explains, you can break New Jersey’s credit card theft laws in a wide variety of ways. For instance, a person can be charged with credit card theft for stealing a card from a purse, breaking a car window and stealing credit cards from inside a car, burglarizing a home and stealing cards, or by knowingly receiving credit cards that have been taken without consent in these or any other ways. Taking a credit card without consent includes taking the card through extortion, false pretenses, or fraud.
Another example of credit card theft is keeping a card that was delivered by mistake (provided that you plan to use the card for your own benefit). This happens more often than you might expect. Think about it for a moment: the postman places a credit card in the wrong mailbox at a large apartment complex, or perhaps the card issuer makes a mistake in printing a mailing address. The end result is the same in all these cases: you receive a card meant for someone else. Unfortunately, however, just because a person has been sent the card does not mean it’s free money or that it’s legal to to use it. If you do that, you can be charged with and convicted of credit card theft.
Buying and selling stolen or misplaced credit cards can also put you at risk of a credit card theft conviction. Although it may be less common, you can also face credit card theft charges for manufacturing fake credit cards, typically with an embossing machine, if you plan to use the fake card to get something of value.
What are the Penalties for Credit Card Theft in NJ?
Certain types of credit card theft offenses carry more severe potential penalties than others. Buying or selling a credit card is typically a fourth degree crime, subjecting you to up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines upon conviction. Taking a credit card from someone and using a credit card that you know has been taken without consent can also result in a fourth degree criminal charge, as can keeping a credit card that was sent to you by mistake. Embossing or creating a fake credit card with the intent to scam others out of money can be charged as an even more serious third degree crime. If you are convicted of a third degree indictable offense, you face 3 to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.
New Brunswick Credit Card Theft Attorneys
If you are facing any of credit card charges in Middlesex County, it is imperative to consult a defense attorney immediately. Understanding what will happen next in the criminal process and your potential options can better prepare you. By getting someone involved in the case who knows the law inside and out and has successfully handled credit card theft cases before, you can position yourself for a better outcome and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation. We are available 24/7.