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Our Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys have successfully defended many folks charged with various kinds of credit card fraud. Currently, credit card fraud generally involves one of three most common means – applying for a credit card in someone else’s name, without their permission, the fraudulent use of someone else’s purchase for your own behalf and/or the production of forged, fake credit cards, after illegally saving and storing other’s credit card information.
Florida Statute Section 817.568 criminalizes folks, who use other’s personal information to apply for credit cards. This Statute also differentiates the potential maximum criminal sanctions based on the number of victims and the total amount of money allegedly stolen. For example, if someone simply uses another’s personal information without obtaining their consent, under subsection (2)(a) of the Statute, they have only committed a third degree felony, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison. While under (2)(b), if the amount at issue is over $5,000.00 or involves between ten to twenty victims, a second degree felony has been committed with a fifteen year maximum sentence. Subsection (2)(c) covers situations, where folks are accused of stealing over $50,000.00 or involves twenty to thirty victims, a felony of the first degree has occurred with a maximum of thirty years has occurred. It is also worth noting that the Court then must sentence the individual to a minimum mandatory of five years in prison for the above-referenced scenario. If the total amount is above $100,000.00 or involves the personal information of greater than thirty people, then the Court must sentence the individual to a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years. Obviously, the Florida Legislature intended to severely and harshly sentence individuals responsible for large scale credit card fraud.
The second highlighted example above is discussed in Florida Statute Section 817.61. Like so many Florida theft statutes, the potential penalties and sanctions are assessed according to the value of the items stolen. For the fraudulent purchase of items below $100.00, the offense is categorized as a first degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of a year in the county jail and a $500.00 fine. If the value of the items is over $100.00 or the card is used more than twice in a six month period, the maximum sentence is five years in prison and constitutes a third degree felony.
Generally, the third example highlighted above of credit card fraud is also covered by Florida Statute Section 817.568. Although it is worth noting that the widespread production of forged, fake credit cards or debit cards may also be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Federal System. Obviously, this involves even harsher sentences.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning allegations of credit card fraud, contact our Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free case consultation. We have handled thousands of criminal cases throughout the entire Tampa Bay area. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website or our free, secure chat box in the lower right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our blog and look forward to hearing from you.