Chicago Credit Card Fraud Lawyer
Credit card fraud is not taken lightly, so if you face charges, you could face serious consequences that greatly impact all areas of your life. Due to the stigma associated with theft and fraud convictions, it’s essential to have a Chicago credit card fraud lawyer on your side.
Call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 to find out how we can help you navigate the criminal justice system.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Credit card fraud is defined as the unauthorized use of another person’s credit card information. The credit card must be used in a deceptive manner in order to illegally obtain goods and services. Fraud is committed in order to avoid paying for the items purchased.
You do not need to be in possession of another person’s credit card in order to be charged with fraud. Fraud can occur by simply getting the card number and expiration date. This information can be used to purchase goods online – no physical card required.
Types of Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud may occur through application fraud or an account takeover. Application fraud involves using personal information and/or counterfeit documents in order to open an account in another person’s name without their permission. Account takeovers occur when a person takes over an existing account and uses it to make unauthorized purchases.
A common example of credit card fraud involves taking, using, buying, selling or forging another person’s credit card information. You could commit fraud by selling goods or services to someone whom you know is using a credit card illegally. Fraud can also occur when you knowingly use your credit card even though it is revoked, expired, or lacking funds.
Credit card fraud includes identity theft, which involves the use of personal information in order to commit fraud. In many cases, fraud occurs through spending sprees, which means existing credit card accounts are used to make unauthorized purchases.
Penalties for credit card fraud are typically based on the amount of money or the value of the items stolen. Additionally, the state considers the total amount of money you stole over a period of time. Thus, if you committed several acts of fraud, the total amount may be considered in making charges and during sentencing.
- Class A misdemeanor – If you stole less than $150, then you may face up to $2,500 in fines, one year in jail, two years of probation, and restitution to the victims.
- Class 4 Felony – If you are convicted of fraud with respect to three or more credit cards or obtain more than $150 over a 90-day period, then you may be subject to a Class 4 felony, which includes up to $25,000 in fines, one to three years in prison, and restitution to victims.
- Class 3 Felony – If you stole more than $300, then you may face fines of up to $25,000, two to five years in prison, and restitution to victims.
Fines and other penalties may be increased depending upon your criminal history and other specific circumstances. You may also be liable to the victim in a civil suit. The victim can sue you for property damage, physical injuries, mental anguish, court costs, attorney’s fees, and more.
Getting Legal Help for Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is a serious crime. The government will gather as much evidence as possible to convict you. A Chicago credit card fraud lawyer at O’Meara Law can help you dispute these charges and help clear your name.
Your lawyer has a huge task ahead. He or she will need to review all the evidence provided by the state and see if there are any issues. Criminal defense lawyers must also perform an investigation, develop a defense strategy, and present your case in a convincing manner.
Possible defenses to credit card fraud include:
- Lack of intent to defraud or steal something
- Permission from the credit card owner
- Being forced by someone else into fraudulent acts
- Entrapment by law enforcement
Chicago Credit Card Fraud Attorney Can Help You
Former prosecutor Michael O’Meara has the experience and knowledge to help you deal with the charges against you and decrease your penalties significantly. He will defend your rights and keep your freedoms intact.
To learn more, contact O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.