Your Guide To Credit Card Fraud Charges In Florida
Credit card usage continues to grow in the United States. An estimated 40 percent of in-store purchases nationwide are made using credit cards. An even greater share of online purchases are made with credit cards. In recent years, prosecutors have been cracking down on allegations of credit card fraud. In this article, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer explains the key things that defendants should know about credit card fraud charges in Florida.
Know the Law: Florida’s Credit Card Fraud Statute
In Florida, credit card fraud is a serious criminal offense. The charge is generally filed under Florida Statutes § 817.61. Under state law, a person can be arrested and charged with credit card fraud if they use a credit card in an unauthorized manner. To obtain a conviction in a credit card fraud case, prosecutors in Florida must prove the following three things:
- The defendant unlawfully obtained and/or unlawfully used a credit card without authorization;
- It was the intent of the defendant to use the credit card without permission; and
- Actual use occurred—meaning money, goods, or services were obtained by the defendant through fraudulent credit use.
Credit Card Fraud is Often a Felony Offense in Florida
Our state has some of the most strict and harsh credit card fraud penalties in the entire country. In Florida, credit card fraud can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense. The severity of the charge will depend on the specific nature of the allegations. That being said, it is very easy for a credit card fraud charge to become a felony in Florida. Prosecutors can file felony credit card fraud charges in either of the following two circumstances:
- Number of Transactions: The credit card in question was used fraudulently three or more times; or
- Value of Credit Card Fraud: The value of the credit card fraud is in excess of $100.
Notably, credit card fraud is a “cumulative offense.” In other words, prosecutors can consider all of the credit card fraud within a six month period. If the total value of credit card fraud exceeds $100, the defendant can face felony charges. For example, imagine that a person fraudulently swiped a credit card twice in Orange County, FL. One swipe was for $40 and the other swipe was for $70. As the total value of those fraudulent transactions is $110, he or she can be charged with a felony.
Contact Our Orlando, FL Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer has the legal knowledge and professional expertise to handle all types of fraud cases, including credit card fraud charges. If you or your family member was arrested for credit card fraud, we are here to help. Contact us now for a fully private initial legal consultation. From our Orlando legal office, our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout all of Central Florida, including in Orange County and Seminole County.