Stafford County Credit Card Fraud Lawyer

Credit card fraud involves using the credit card information of someone else without permission or falsifying credit card information in some way to obtain money or something of value. A person should contact a Stafford County credit card fraud card lawyer as soon as they know they are under investigation, or because they were contacted by a law enforcement or loss prevention officer, or received a criminal charge.

As soon as someone is charged or arrested for credit card fraud, the individual should contact an experienced fraud attorney who can clarify what those charges mean for their future. A Stafford County credit card fraud lawyer can work with you to create the best defense strategy for you.

Potential Penalties

Most credit card fraud offenses are felonies. The most common are Class 6 felonies which can carry up to five years in prison or 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Even the misdemeanor versions of credit card fraud are Class 1 misdemeanors which can carry up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Defining Skimming

Skimming refers to financial transactions where someone charges a small amount on top of a legitimate transaction and then transfers that money to themselves. One of the ways that skimming can occur is when a credit card is presented at a point of sale and the person conducting the sale adds a small amount of money to the transaction which they transfer to themselves. This fits the definition of credit card fraud under Virginia law.

The person might be a sales associate in a store or a waiter in a restaurant. Currently, there are devices that can swipe a credit card on a phone or some other point of sale away from the view of the customer. Credit card fraud in Stafford County can also happen when someone inputs their credit card information for a sale or transaction online.

Common Misconceptions

The biggest misconception about credit card fraud in Stafford County is that it is not a serious crime. It is an easy crime to commit and young people are increasingly mixed up in credit card fraud. They purchase what they believe to be a discounted gift card without a name and attempt to use it at a store. These cases often turn into felonies which can lead to a felony conviction especially in Stafford County. A person must be careful when using credit cards and be skeptical of anyone selling a card or gift card at a discounted price.

These charges have a long lasting impact, even if a person is not charged with a felony or if a plea agreement is worked out that reduces the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The charge on their record can affect their current employment and has the potential to affect future employment.

Support From a Criminal Lawyer

The primary role of a Stafford County credit card fraud attorney in a credit card case is to defend the case. They must use their knowledge to challenge the government’s evidence and make sure the client’s constitutional rights were not violated. The attorney must use every tactic to have the charge dismissed or reduced; or to mitigate the impact of the conviction. The lawyer walks a person through every step of the process. They tell the client what to expect at each phase and help the client make important decisions so they are not surprised by anything that happens and are well-prepared for the eventualities.