Credit card fraud in Florida extends to debit cards and any type of banking card used to process financial transactions. Most offenses are considered misdemeanors. However, repeated violations can escalate to felonies.
Offenses under the Florida State Credit Card Crime Act
State law bars you from using a credit card issued to another person. Other common credit card crimes that can necessitate a criminal defense include:
- Credit card theft
- Purchasing or selling someone else’s card
- Using someone else’s card as security for a debt
- Counterfeiting credit cards
- Signing someone else’s card
- Forgery and dealing of credit cards
- Unlawful possession of a stolen card
Florida classifies these crimes as first-degree misdemeanors when a defendant commits two acts of credit card fraud within six months for values of less than $100 each. Possible penalties include a year in prison with fines up to $1,000. Credit card fraud can become a third-degree felony if three or more offenses occurred over six months or if the value was over $100. Felony penalties can range up to five years in prison and fines of as much as $5,000. Additionally, defendants can be charged under other Florida criminal laws.
Defending against credit card fraud
Even a misdemeanor conviction can have far-reaching consequences on your life, so it’s essential to appeal any results not in your favor. Defenses against credit card fraud can include proving that you had no intent to commit fraud or otherwise engage in illegal activities or you had authorization from the cardholder to use it.
Appeals can take several forms. If you can provide newly uncovered evidence of your innocence, prove deviation from proper procedures by the prosecution or discover jury tampering or bias, you may have a solid appeal. File your appeal during the allotted time to have a chance.