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Credit Card Fraud

Even though it is a nonviolent crime, credit card fraud is considered a serious felony offense in Michigan, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

There are many different kinds of credit card fraud, from stealing someone else's credit card to withdrawing too much using your own card. As a result, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable Michigan credit card fraud lawyer if you are under investigation or have been charged with credit card fraud. Experienced fraud defense attorneys can help fight for your rights and freedom, and work to protect your reputation and finances.

Michigan Credit Card Fraud Laws

According to Michigan law, credit cards fall under the category of "financial transaction devices," which also includes debit cards, rebate cards, gift cards, account numbers, PIN numbers, and electronic funds transfers.

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. Using a stolen credit card to make purchases or draw out money is typically what people associate with credit card fraud, but fraud can also occur when a person:

  • Opens a credit card in someone else's name without permission
  • Uses credit card information to make purchases without physically having the card
  • Improperly uses their own credit card
  • Creates a fake credit card or alters an existing one
  • Knowingly using a canceled credit card

In some cases, a purchase is not required for it to be considered credit card fraud. Simply having someone's stolen or fake credit card in their possession could be enough to lead to fraud charges.

Potential Penalties

Credit card fraud is typically charged as a felony in Michigan, but in some cases, it may be considered a lesser misdemeanor offense. The penalties someone could be facing for credit card fraud depend on the circumstances of their case. For example, it is a felony in Michigan to:

  • Steal a credit card or possess a stolen, altered, or fake credit card
  • Use, deliver, or sell a stolen credit card
  • Make a counterfeit credit card
  • Sell goods or render services to someone that they know is involved in credit card fraud
  • Use a fake identity or commit identity theft to obtain a credit card

These offenses are punishable by up to four years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Other credit card crimes—like someone withdrawing or transferring funds that exceed their credit card's limitations and 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, all the way up to 10 years in prison or $15,000 in fines.

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.

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