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New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Lawyer

Credit card fraud offenses in New Jersey encompass a variety of conduct, from using a card that is not your own, to making counterfeit cards, to lying on a credit card application.  In all cases, credit card fraud is an indictable offense (equivalent to a felony in most jurisdictions) that carries severe penalties including possible jail time.

If you are charged with credit card fraud, a New Jersey credit card fraud lawyer can help protect your rights throughout the criminal process. Consult a capable defense attorney that can work tirelessly to build a solid case for you.

What Constitutes Credit Card Fraud?

N.J. Stat. § 2C:21-6 defines the various types of conduct that may constitute credit card fraud. They include:

  • Making false statements to obtain a card: This involves claiming to be someone you are not and misrepresenting your financial condition to acquire credit
  • Credit card theft: This includes taking or using a card without consent, using a card someone else lost or one that was mistakenly delivered to you, buying or selling a credit card from someone other than the issuer, counterfeiting and modifying a credit card, and signing a credit card without authorization
  • Fraud by purchaser: Meaning, using a card to obtain something of value when the card is forged, expired, or revoked
  • Fraud by seller: This involves accepting a card known to be forged, expired, or revoked, or charging a card issuer for items not furnished to the card holder
  • Receiving anything of value that is the result of credit card fraud

Due to the breadth of conduct that may constitute credit card fraud, charges are sometimes brought based on conduct that many would consider innocuous, such as accidentally using a business card to purchase personal items.

Credit Card Fraud Crimes are Indictable

All forms of credit card fraud under § 2C:21-6 are indictable crimes.

Fourth-Degree Crimes

Most credit card fraud offenses are fourth-degree crimes, which may result in the following penalties:

  • A prison term of 18 months or less
  • A jail term of under one year
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Probation

Thankfully, pre-trial intervention (PTI) is available for most fourth-degree crimes, including credit card fraud.  PTI allows a person to serve a period of probation prior to a guilty verdict being entered.  Upon successful completion of probation, charges are dismissed without a conviction resulting.

A New Jersey credit card fraud lawyer can help someone charged with credit card fraud obtain a PTI disposition if eligible, and avoid costly fines, imprisonment, and the long-term effects of a conviction record.

Third-Degree Crimes

More serious credit card fraud offenses are classified as third-degree crimes.  These include forgery of a card, knowing acceptance of a forged, expired or revoked card as payment, and using a stolen card. Conviction for a third-degree crime may result in A prison term of three to five years and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

Speaking With a New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Attorney

Facing these serious penalties without the aid of a New Jersey credit card fraud lawyer can be daunting. Although the possible penalties may be panic-inducing, an attorney can help by working to reduce the charges brought against you and protecting your rights.