Facing criminal charges can be one of the scariest moments a person can experience. Defendants not only face jail time and steep criminal fines, but they can also get a criminal record. Having a conviction in your criminal record can make it challenging to get a loan, find a job, and rent an apartment. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we understand the severity of criminal convictions for credit card fraud in Baltimore. That is why we fight tirelessly to defend your rights at all times.
If you or someone you know is facing credit card fraud charges in Baltimore, there is no time to waste. Call our law offices today for dedicated, experienced, and skilled legal representation from a battle-tested criminal defense attorney. To learn more about our practice and how we can help you with your case, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Credit Card Fraud Laws in Baltimore, MD
Assuming the identity of another person to commit credit card fraud is a serious crime under Maryland law. Many individuals have been arrested over the years by illegally assuming another person’s identity to avoid paying a debt, buying goods, or traveling – among other reasons. One of the ways some people can illegally assume another person’s identity is by committing credit card fraud.
Title 8, subtitle 2 of Maryland’s criminal law code explains what credit card fraud entails and the consequences for those who venture to engage in this criminal act. In general terms, this statute makes it illegal for any person to knowingly provide false information to obtain a credit card. If you provide incorrect information to the credit card company in order to benefit from using a credit card, you could face misdemeanor charges which carry civil penalties.
According to the criminal law statute mentioned above, credit card fraud also extends to cases where a person steals a credit card and uses it for personal gain. The illegal appropriation of a credit card, whether to use it or sell it to third parties, is prohibited under state law and is punishable civil penalties, including jail time and fines.
Sec. 8-205 makes it illegal for any person to make a credit card or possess a falsely made credit card. This type of criminal activity is considered a felony, which carries more severe consequences. It is also a felony to sign on behalf of the cardholder to engage in a fraudulent act.
Criminal Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Baltimore, MD
Maryland divides crime into two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are lesser criminal offenses that carry jail time and fines as a punishment. Common examples of misdemeanors include stalking, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of controlled substances. Credit card fraud can also be considered a misdemeanor in specific circumstances. For instance, taking the card of another person without his or her consent to obtain a good or service can carry several criminal consequences. These criminal consequences can vary depending on the value of the service or goods purchased with the credit card.
For instance, if you acquired a good, money, or services using another person’s credit card with a value of up to $100, you may face misdemeanor charges, which include up to 90 days in jail and up to $500 in criminal fines.
If under the same circumstances you acquired goods, money or services of over $100 but less than $500 in total value, you may face a misdemeanor charge of up to 18 months in prison and up to $500 in criminal fines.
If the worth of the money, good, or service obtained with a fraudulent card is over $500, then you may face felony charges which are punishable with up to 15 years in prison and up to $1,000 in criminal fines.
Just as state laws, there are federal statutes focusing on interstate commerce. Federal law makes it illegal for any individual to use a stolen credit card to commit fraud. A person charged with using a fraudulently obtained credit card can face up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in criminal fines.
These are some of the different scenarios where you could face potential criminal penalties if found guilty of committing credit card fraud. It is in your best interest to be represented by a skilled Baltimore criminal defense attorney throughout the entire process.
Defending Yourself from Credit Fraud Charges in Baltimore
If you have law enforcement authorities knocking at your door due to an alleged credit card fraud, you may need immediate legal assistance. There are ways to defend yourself against fraud allegations. You may be able to raise arguments establishing misunderstanding. Making a mistake in your transaction can make way for the other party to suspect you acted fraudulently. Lacking essential knowledge or information in your transaction does not constitute fraud. Your Baltimore credit card fraud defense lawyer can help you throughout your criminal proceeding.
Another argument you may raise in your defense is lack of intent. Credit card fraud does not operate in a vacuum. In order to defraud, a person must have the intention to do so. The prosecution must be able to show beyond a reasonable doubt you had the intent to commit fraud. Making a mistake cannot count as an actual intent to defraud a credit card company. In short, the prosecution cannot convict you if they cannot show you had the intent of committing fraud. This is something a skilled, dedicated attorney can help you achieve. If you are facing credit card fraud charges in Baltimore, there is no time to waste. Retain the services of a skilled and experienced credit card fraud attorney as soon as possible.
Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Offering Free Consultations in Baltimore
If you or someone you know is facing credit card fraud charges in Baltimore, there is no time to lose. The consequences of a criminal conviction can be severe. Retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Baltimore credit card fraud attorney can be the difference between your freedom and potential jail time. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we will fight aggressively and strategically to make sure your rights are upheld throughout your criminal process. To learn more about all of our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.