There has been a surge in credit card fraud in recent years. Every year, millions of people are victims of credit card fraud in the U.S. State and Federal government laws have zero-tolerance policies in these specific cases. For this reason, a credit card fraud conviction in Maryland can lead to severe consequences. If you or a loved one was charged with credit card fraud in Maryland, you will need immediate legal assistance.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras , our credit card fraud attorneys can help you defend yourself against your charges. Let our experience, knowledge, and skill help you during this difficult time. To learn more about our services and how we can help you with your case, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Understanding Credit Card Fraud in Maryland
Credit card fraud happens as a result of the illegal appropriation of another person’s credit card with the intent of obtaining goods, services, or any other financial advantage. This type of criminal activity has been on the rise ever since the introduction of credit cards onto the market. Unfortunately, the United States has the most significant numbers of credit card fraud reports compared to the rest of the world. For this reason, the state and the federal government have implemented several laws to help avoid credit card fraud from happening and impose severe penalties on any person found guilty of this crime. Being charged with credit card fraud in Maryland can carry severe criminal penalties. Not only do you risk losing your freedom and paying a significant amount of money, but you may also face the social stigma that follows incarceration, as well as the difficulties associated with a criminal conviction on your record.
If you have been charged with credit card fraud in Maryland, you need capable, experienced, and dedicated legal defense by your side. Let our credit card fraud defense attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras guide you through this difficult time.
Criminal Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Maryland
Maryland divides crimes into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors. However, the state does not treat these two criminal categories as other states do. Misdemeanors are considered lesser criminal offenses, which can carry lighter penalties than felonies. Many states throughout the U.S. impose up to a year of jail time and light fines to convicted misdemeanor offenders. In contrast, misdemeanor offenders in Maryland can face up to ten years in jail. As you can see, misdemeanors should not be taken lightly as they can often lead to severe consequences
Felonies are the most severe types of crimes in Maryland. The criminal consequences can be extreme, depending on the circumstances of a specific case. A person found guilty of a felony in Maryland can face up to life in prison and hefty fines.
You can face misdemeanor or felony charges for credit card fraud depending on the value of the items acquired with the illegally-appropriated card. If you bought an item valued under $100 using a stolen card, you may face misdemeanor charges that can lead up to three months in jail and up to $500 in fines. Purchasing an item valued under $1,000 using another person’s credit card is also considered a misdemeanor, but can carry higher penalties. Under this circumstance, a convicted felon can face up to sixteen months in jail and $500 in criminal fines. Any person who obtains goods exceeding $1,000 in total value, exposes him or herself to a max penalty of 15 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
The instances mentioned above are not the only way a person can commit credit card fraud. Other types of credit card crimes include counterfeiting, fraudulent credit card issuing, and distribution or sale of credit card numbers, among others.
Our Maryland Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys Can Assist You
In the U.S. criminal justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty. This means the prosecution in your case must be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In credit card fraud cases, a prosecutor must be able to prove several elements before they can convict you. For instance, the prosecutor in your case has to show that you knowingly used another person’s credit card to benefit yourself. Additionally, the prosecutor will need to show the value of the items you allegedly purchased, which will determine the potential penalties. If the prosecution can’t prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, you cannot be convicted.
There are different defense strategies your Maryland credit card fraud defense attorney can use. One of the arguments your lawyer can use is that you were “coerced” to use a fraudulent credit card. It is possible you were forced to commit fraud because of a threat to you or your loved ones. It is also possible you were encouraged or set up to use a fraudulent credit card. This is what would normally happen in entrapment cases. Entrapment involves encouraging a third party to commit fraud from a law enforcement officer. Your criminal defense attorney can raise this argument and prove you were a victim of entrapment.
The clear intent of obtaining benefit by using another person’s credit card is essential in any credit card fraud case. It is possible you believed you were using the credit card legitimately, without knowing your actions constituted fraud. This can be an important argument, especially if you were using a credit card belonging to your business or corporation. Your Maryland credit card fraud lawyer can help you.
It is crucial to have legal representation by your side at all times after being charged with credit card fraud. Retaining the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney can make the difference between losing your freedom and keep living your normal life.
Maryland Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was charged with a credit card fraud in Maryland, we may be able to help. Our Maryland credit card fraud defense attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras understand the impact a credit card fraud conviction can have on your life. Over the years, we have gained extensive knowledge and experience, giving us the tools to provide all of our clients with the quality criminal defense they deserve. We will fight aggressively and tirelessly to make sure your rights are upheld. To learn more about your case in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.