Being accused of credit card fraud can upend your life, affecting your professional credibility and your good standing in the community, and with friends and family. You might have concerns about the extent to which a credit card fraud charge will be punished.
Credit card fraud can be classed as either a misdemeanor or a felony in Virginia, depending on the value of items or services attained through improper use of a credit card. If you find yourself accused of violating credit card fraud laws, it is helpful to have the advice of a criminal defense lawyer experienced in these matters. Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., in Fairfax, VA, can help answer your questions and concerns about credit card fraud by providing a free consultation.
CREDIT CARD THEFT AND FRAUD
Several different actions can result in a charge of credit card fraud. One example is theft of a credit card (or credit card number) from any other individual who has not given consent for its use, then using that account to purchase items or withdraw money.
Even if an individual has been given permission to use a credit card or credit card number, they are still in violation of the law if they use it in any way that is not as the owner intended. For example, if an individual provided a credit card number as payment for services, was charged for those services, and the services were not performed, then the person who made the charge could be found guilty of credit card fraud.
MORE OR LESS THAN $1,000
If you are being investigated for credit card fraud, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of items (or services) fraudulently obtained (or withheld). If, during a six-month period, the value exceeds $1,000, you may find yourself charged with a Class 6 felony. Anything monetarily less than that is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Let's say you obtained a family member's credit card to pay for a car repair. You used the card for those purposes, but also bought other items without the family member's permission over the course of the next few months, with the unapproved charges totaling $980. If that family member filed a criminal complaint against you, you would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, the penalty for which is either up to 12 months of jail time and a fine of up to $2,500, or both, in Virginia.
If you were in the same situation and were permitted to use a family member's credit card to pay for car repairs, but instead used it to fund a $2,000 down payment on a new car, you would be charged with a Class 6 felony, punishable by between one and five years' imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,500, either or both, in Virginia.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH CREDIT CARD FRAUD
A Virginia credit card fraud attorney can help you understand the gravity of your charges as well as helping you build a strong defense. A Fairfax criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience defending against credit card charges, like John Kassabian of Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., can act as an ally for you during a stressful and difficult time.
Get in touch with John Kassabian now to set up a free consultation for credit card fraud charges in Prince William County or Fairfax County.