Virginia Federal Credit Card Fraud Lawyer
Virtually any unauthorized use of a credit card can be criminally prosecuted as credit card fraud. While these allegations may be charged under Virginia state laws, credit card fraud is often charged as a federal offense. A Virginia federal fraud lawyer can help you fight against criminal charges. To learn more or begin building a defense for your case, consult with a Virginia federal credit card fraud lawyer today.
Benefits of Hiring a Private Attorney
Credit card fraud takes many forms, and there are several federal statutes under which a person may be indicted. Finding a federal credit card fraud attorney in Virginia gives you an ally and an advocate who understands the specific charges you face and how best to defend against them.
Having a defense attorney familiar with the federal court system can help you adequately prepare for the case before you. Our Virginia federal credit card attorneys can evaluate the details to create an optimal defense strategy, whether that means challenging and suppressing evidence for a dismissal of the charges, negotiating a plea for minimal sentencing, or aggressively defending your innocence at trial.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
With a seeming increase in the number of credit card phishing or skimming schemes, it seems that credit card fraud is continually in the news.
While the illegal collection of personal and financial data from credit card skimmers is one type of credit card fraud, there are dozens of other ways a person can be accused of credit card fraud:
- Use of a lost or stolen credit card
- Borrowing a credit card and using it without permission or authorization
- Using handheld skimmers or installing skimmers on gas pumps and ATMs to collect account information
- Stealing mail to find cardholder account information
- Identity theft, or using cardholder account information to open new accounts, create counterfeit credit cards, or take over existing accounts
Credit card fraud may be prosecuted under one or more of several federal laws, including mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft statutes.
Federal Credit Card Fraud Laws
The penalties a person faces if accused of credit card fraud depend upon the specific charge against him or her as a Virginia federal credit card fraud lawyer can explain.
Federal prosecutors often charge defendants in credit card cases under 18 U.S. Code § 1029, which deals with “fraud and related activity in connection with access devices.” Under this law, it is a felony to “produce, use, or traffic” in counterfeit access devices or unauthorized access devices. These “access devices” include credit cards, debit card, and gift cards.
The penalties for violation of § 1029 range from a maximum of 10 years to a maximum of 15 years, depending on the subsection the defendant is accused of violating.
Another law commonly used to prosecute credit card fraud cases is 18 U.S. Code § 1028A – Aggravated identity theft. According to the federal identity theft law, it is a felony to use, transfer, or even possess without authorization any means of identification of another person. Identity theft is punishable by a maximum of two years in prison, which by law must run consecutively with the sentence for any other crime related to the unlawful use or possession of another’s identifying information.
A person who commits fraud in filling out a credit card application may be charged with one or more of the following federal offenses:
- Fraud and False Statements – 18 U.S. Code §§ 1001-1036
- Mail Fraud – 18 U.S. Code § 1341
- Wire Fraud – 18 U.S. Code § 1343
- Bank Fraud – 18 U.S. Code § 1344
Those who are accused of using email phishing or telemarketing schemes to illegally collect credit card information or other personal information which may be used to produce counterfeit credit cards or open unauthorized accounts may be charged under the following laws:
- Email Fraud – 18 U.S. Code § 1037
- Telemarketing Fraud – 18 U.S. Code §§ 2325-2327
To learn more about federal credit card fraud charges and the statutes that may apply in a criminal prosecution, contact a Virginia federal credit card lawyer to schedule a free consultation.
Hiring a Virginia Federal Credit Card Fraud Lawyer
Penalties for credit card fraud can be severe, but finding an experienced legal advocate to represent you can help you can help you to mitigate the damage associated with your charges. Our Virginia federal credit card fraud attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call to learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation.