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Credit Card Fraud
Michigan police, judges and prosecutors consider credit card fraud to be a serious felony offense. Michigan lawmakers agree, because they made credit card fraud punishable by up to 10 years in prison and those convicted can be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
The crime of credit card fraud comes in many different forms. Of course, it’s a crime to steal and use someone else's credit card, but it can also be a crime to knowingly withdraw too much using your own card. Because what might seem like innocent behavior can sometimes be viewed as criminal, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable Michigan credit card fraud lawyer. This is true whether you are simply under investigation or when you have been formally charged with credit card fraud. The experienced Michigan fraud defense attorneys at the Barone Defense Firm will can help fight for your rights and freedom, and work to protect your reputation and finances.Michigan Credit Card Fraud Laws
According to the definitions contained in Michigan law credit cards are more broadly termed "financial transaction devices." Also included in this category are debit cards, rebate cards, gift cards, account numbers, PIN numbers, and electronic funds transfers. All financial transaction devices are treated the same by Michigan law. This means that stealing and using a credit card puts you in the same crime as stealing and using a person’s PIN or similarly making a fraudulent electronic funds transfer. For example, if a person stole someone's credit card, it would be punished the same way as if they stole a debit card or even just an account number. While it might be most common for a person to buy stuff with a stolen credit or debit card, or use a PIN to draw out money fraud can also occur when a person:
Opens a credit card in their name using someone else's info, Uses the credit card number, expiration date, etc., to make purchases without having the card in their possession and without permission of the owner, Commit fraud using their own credit card Creates or uses a fake credit card, alters a real one, and/or knowingly using a canceled credit card.
Sometimes all it takes to pick up a charge is having someone's stolen or fake credit card in your possession even if you don’t use it.Potential Penalties
Credit card and other financial transaction device fraud is typically charged as a felony in Michigan. Depending on many things sometimes the charges brought are only lesser misdemeanor offenses. The penalties for these crimes will depend on your prior record and the facts of your case. For example, the following activities, if charged as felonies, are punishable by up to four years in prison and $5,000 in fines:
Stealing, using, delivering or possessing a stolen altered, or fake credit card, Making a counterfeit credit card using a fake identity to obtain a credit card
Other credit card crimes—like when a person withdraws or transfers funds exceeding their credit card's limitations or intentionally using a canceled card—can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of money involved in the crime. Penalties for these offenses range from less than 100 days in jail and a $500 fine for misdemeanors all the way up to 10 years in prison or $15,000 in fines for felonies.Contact a Michigan Credit Card Fraud Lawyer
Facing criminal charges can be daunting. That is why if you have been charged with credit card fraud, you need an attorney who understands the intricacies of fraud laws in Michigan and is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Let a Michigan credit card fraud attorney help you today.