If you're convicted of a criminal offense for credit card fraud in New Jersey, you could be facing years in prison and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life.
The financial consequences of a credit card fraud conviction can last a lifetime as well; some employers may not hire someone who has been convicted of any kind of theft-related offense (even if they were never actually caught stealing anything).
If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of committing credit card fraud, the police will search through all your belongings and seize whatever cash or property they find until it's sorted out whether there really was any wrongdoing involved – which means that even if charges are later dropped.
If you have been accused of credit card fraud, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible from an experienced, professional, and tenacious credit card fraud lawyer.
When life happens, experience matters.
Breslow Law Offices has helped thousands of individuals charged with credit card fraud or related offenses throughout New Jersey have their charges reduced, dismissed, or dropped.
If you’re facing a credit card fraud or identity theft charge, our criminal defense attorneys can help.
We will fight aggressively for the best possible outcome and provide legal advice based on over 45 years of experience representing other clients in similar white-collar cases.
Call 973-239-8000 today or contact us online for a free lawyer consultation.
What Is Credit Card Fraud in New Jersey?
To understand credit card fraud in N.J., it's first essential to understand the state's laws on fraud in general. According to New Jersey fraud laws, a guilty verdict on credit card fraud and other fraud charges requires proof of the following:
- The person accused of fraud (defendant) falsely represented facts
- The defendant believed the facts to be incorrect
- The defendant intentionally deceived another person or company.
- The victim relied on the defendant's false claims and suffered a legal injury.
Credit card fraud in New Jersey usually consists of making false statements in order to obtain a credit card. It also includes credit card theft, intentionally defrauding cardholders, or a person furnishing goods or services.
Credit card fraud crimes also include receiving anything obtained fraudulently with a stolen credit card and the fraudulent use of illegally obtained credit cards. For example, credit card forgery and credit card theft fall under this category.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(b)-(c) is the legal code that covers credit card fraud in New Jersey. As seen from the examples provided, you don't have to use a credit card to commit a credit card fraud offense. Under this set of laws, credit card fraudsters don't have to get away with a crime to be guilty of one.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(d)-(h), another set of laws defining credit card fraud, the defendant must succeed in committing a crime. Your lawyer can help you understand how the laws apply to your specific case.
To summarize, numerous offenses fall under credit card fraud, including:
- Lying on an application to get a credit card
- Credit card theft
- Intending to commit fraud with your credit card
- Intent to obtain money, services, or goods through unauthorized credit card use
- Completing credit cards without permission
Now, let's take a look at specific examples of credit card fraud in New Jersey.
Common Examples of Credit Card Fraud in New Jersey
Misusing your credit card could result in a misdemeanor or felony, depending on how the card is used and why. Credit card fraud increases during the busy holiday season and scammers use stolen information to take over retail accounts, commit insurance and tax fraud, and perform other scams.
Following are some examples of credit card fraud in New Jersey.
Using false statements to acquire a card
In this example, the person committing fraud lies in an application to obtain a credit card. You could face serious consequences. It's important to seek out the right legal defense to minimize the severity of the situation.
Using false statements is considered a fourth-degree crime in the Garden State, and those found guilty could end up in jail for up to 18 months. There is also a hefty fine that goes along with this misdeed. Those convicted of lying to get a credit card could pay fines as high as $10,000 plus restitution for goods and services stolen.
If you or someone you know faces these charges, it's crucial to find representatives in the legal community with decades of experience with credit card fraud cases.
Altering a credit card
Adding a magnetic strip to a card or illegally increasing the card limit is also a crime in New Jersey. Those who alter credit cards could face fines and other legal consequences.
Credit card theft
Only the cardholder explicitly listed on the card has the right to use a credit card. Using someone else's credit card without authorization or consent is a crime. This includes spouses and children using each others' credit cards.
Skimming a credit card
Those with access to the right technology can make a lot of money off skimming a credit card. However, getting caught has serious repercussions. Skimming a credit card requires sophisticated electronic devices that can read magnetic strips. Altering credit cards in this way gives thieves and credit card hackers more spending power.
Hijacking a credit card account
This is one of the more complicated ways to commit credit card fraud in New Jersey. People who hijack credit card accounts start with obtaining access to bank accounts. They use this financial information to obtain a credit card illegally. In hijacking, the buyer charges shipping and handling to a stolen third-party account.
Vendors send money to the scammers, who can then launder the funds and use them for other purposes. Using it for other purposes avoids detection by transferring it back into the hijacked account.
Credit card forums
There is a whole community online dedicated to credit card fraud. These credit card forums are underground internet groups where thieves sell and buy stolen credit card information. They can also purchase services and goods via the dark web. This is also a great place for budding fraudsters to pick up tips and techniques from experts.
However, this forum won't help you if you get caught. In order to obtain experienced legal representation. it's important to turn to a reputable law firm such as Breslow Law.
Keep in mind that victims can also bring civil lawsuits against someone who has stolen their identity and used their credit to obtain unauthorized credit cards. In some cases, courts award victims much more than what was actually stolen. The defendants in credit card fraud cases in New Jersey may also end up paying court costs, the cost to clear the victim's credit history, and attorney fees.
Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in New Jersey
New Jersey ranks high when it comes to credit card crimes. New Jersey law deals harshly with those caught and convicted of credit card forgery, credit card theft, and other fraud charges. Although this is a white-collar crime, those convicted face up to $15,000 in fines and five years in jail, depending on the extent of their crime and the court's decision.
It's important to understand the credit card fraud sentencing guidelines that could apply to your case if you receive a conviction. N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6c Contains the specific language for credit card fraud penalties.
Penalties for N.J. credit card fraud include both fines and jail time depending on whether someone is charged with a crime of the third degree or a 4th-degree felony for the incident, as follows:
- The law recognizes credit card fraud as a third- or fourth-degree felony charge.
- Fourth-degree charges can result in $10,000 in fines and 18 months of jail fines.
- Third-degree charges can bring three to five years in prison or a $15,000 fine.
The fraudulent use of a credit card brings harsh penalties. Whether you use incomplete credit cards or steal a steal from someone in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and other counties in New Jersey, it's important to understand the consequences.
Discuss your charges with a credit card fraud attorney today
Illegally obtaining a new credit card may seem like a good idea until someone gets caught. If you find yourself in this situation, you need the best criminal defense attorney possible to help minimize both the criminal and financial obligations that accompany a fraud conviction. Come in for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
To avoid a credit card conviction, do not possess someone else's credit card without their knowledge or permission. It's a bad idea to use a credit card and so one else's name, to begin with. Intent matters in these cases, and the courts will delve into whether your crime was purposeful or not.
This can significantly impact the severity of your judgment if you are found guilty.
Contact the law offices of Breslow Law today to discuss your N.J. credit card fraud charges and defense options with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
No risk, free initial consultation.
Call 973-239-8000 or contact us online to discuss your credit card fraud charges with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our firm.