Credit card fraud is among the most typical forms of identity theft. If you are currently under investigation for this type of identity-related crime, or was recently accused or charged, contact a Chattanooga credit card fraud lawyer. It is the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights, and includes an exhaustive evaluation of your case to determine the next steps.
Finding out you have been charged with credit card fraud is naturally unsettling and can make it challenging to focus on usual tasks. Working with an experienced attorney alleviates stress because the individual will do everything possible to defend you and show that you are an upstanding, valuable community member.
According to Title 39, Chapter 14, Section 118 of the Tennessee Code, it is illegal to possess and use others’ credit and debit cards. The law specifically prohibits knowingly holding another person’s debit or credit card without their consent, or allowing a third party to use either card for fraudulent purposes. The third party knows the card was stolen, expired, revoked, forged, or cancelled, but uses it anyway.
Theft penalties apply to debit and credit card fraud cases, and range from misdemeanors to Class B felonies according to § 39-14-105. They include Class A misdemeanors for fraudulent purchases totaling $500 or less. Fraudulent purchases between $500 and $1,000 are Class E felonies, while stolen property worth $1,000 to $10,000 is a Class D felony. Class C and B felonies concern fraudulent purchases between $10,000 and $60,000, and over $60,000, respectively. Identity theft penalties can be severe without an attorney’s assistance and include:
Legal professionals defend clients in credit and debit card fraud cases on several grounds, including duress, or when an individual is threatened to act against their will. For example, a person might threaten physical violence unless their partner makes certain purchases using a stolen debit card.
Other potential defenses include infancy, which applies to young children who do not understand the gravity of using credit and debit cards that do not belong to them, as well as insanity, entrapment, and lack of intent. Entrapment refers to interactions between defendants and police officers prior to or during a supposed crime. For example, an undercover police officer who suggests stolen credit card use to the defendant would be accused of entrapment. Lack of intent concerns individuals who did not intentionally try to defraud others, while insanity refers to the defendant’s affected mental state.
Work with a Chattanooga credit card fraud lawyer who will fight for your rights when you contact our firm. We are here to analyze your case, identify its strengths, and determine the best legal defense that hopefully avoids jail time and fines. Take the first step in protecting your future today. Contact us to learn more about how we could help.