In Pennsylvania, any sort of fraudulent activity involving the use of a credit card or debit card is considered a “white collar crime,” or financial crime. An individual can be charged with credit card fraud in Philadelphia if he or she uses a card that is counterfeit, revoked, cancelled, tampered with, missing information, or otherwise not authorized to be used. Though nonviolent, credit card fraud and related white collar crimes can still result in felony charges and serious penalties, particularly in cases where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) becomes involved in the criminal investigation.
If you, your spouse, your son or daughter, or someone you love was recently arrested for credit card fraud in Philadelphia, or is currently under investigation for suspected credit card fraud, it is critical for you to contact an experienced credit card fraud defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Lloyd Long, our renowned legal team possesses the extensive knowledge of the state and federal legal systems needed to obtain the best possible results for your case. With decades of experience representing defendants in complex white collar crime cases, we understand what it takes to develop an aggressive defense strategy that protects your rights, reputation, and freedom.
Do not wait to seek help if you or a family member has been accused of credit card fraud or related offenses.
What is Access Device Fraud (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. 4106)?
Credit card fraud is a colloquial term. The actual name for this offense, which is legally defined under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4106, is “access device fraud,” where the phrase “access device” refers to:
- ATM Cards
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
This statute makes it a crime to use an access device if:
- The card is “counterfeit, altered or incomplete.”
- The card “was issued to another person who has not authorized its use.”
- The card was “revoked or canceled” when used.
- Use of the card was “unauthorized by the issuer or [card] holder” for any other reason.
It is also a crime to:
- Make, sell, give, or transfer a prohibited access device.
- Possess a credit card or debit card despite “knowing that it is counterfeit, altered, incomplete or belongs to another person who has not authorized its possession.”
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, the defendant may also be charged with related crimes, such as identity theft or other forms of theft, heightening the importance of skilled and sophisticated legal representation.
Credit Card Fraud Penalties in Pennsylvania
The criminal penalties for credit card fraud in Pennsylvania depend on the value of the goods or services that were obtained, or which the defendant attempted to obtain. Each credit card or debit card involved in the offense constitutes a separate charge according to Pennsylvania law, which means people in possession of multiple cards will face multiple charges and potentially greater penalties.
If the value was less than $50, access device fraud is considered a second degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years in Pennsylvania. If the value was over $50 but less than $500 (up to $499), the offense is considered a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. If the value was $500 or more, the offense is considered a third degree felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to seven years. If convicted, the defendant may also be heavily fined and/or placed on probation. The defendant also risks serious damage to his or her career, particularly if:
- The charge is a felony.
- The defendant works in a position or industry where he or she is responsible for handling money, billing customers, or processing payments.
Philadelphia Credit Card Fraud Lawyers Handling White Collar Crimes
Regardless of how much you were accused of stealing, you risk costly fines, jail or prison time, probation, and a criminal record, as well as permanent harm to your professional reputation. However, our Philadelphia access device fraud attorneys can help you navigate through the complexities of your case. With thousands of cases successfully handled, we have what it takes to get you back on the right track.
Our criminal attorneys handle credit card fraud and related white collar crime charges throughout Philadelphia. No matter which part of Philadelphia you call home, contact our law offices immediately for a free legal consultation concerning your charges and how we can help you.