Fresno Criminal Attorney Can Help You With Credit Card Fraud Charges
Jan 27, 2014
The recent massive credit card security breach at Target stores during a period from late November to mid-December has put a spotlight on the crime of credit card fraud. This specific instance of the crime speaks of great technological sophistication and coordination, as the criminals were able to bypass Target's security and hack the sensitive card information they needed. Approximately 40 million accounts were compromised, and stolen account information is already appearing for sale on the black market.
This recent example of credit card fraud is rather extreme, and in its scope and repercussions doesn't reflect what most credit card fraud cases are like. However, even though the magnitude of each crime differs, the underlying statutes in California law don't.
What constitutes credit card fraud in California?
You can get hit with charges of credit card fraud under a variety of circumstances. If you're using another person's card without their permission, this could constitute fraud. If you're selling or otherwise benefiting from data related to their card, that could also constitute fraud. Forging counterfeit cards is also illegal, as is using your own card in fraudulent ways; for instance, if you make purchases once your card has expired, this could be considered fraud.
Although credit card fraud may be deliberate, as in the Target case, there isn't always evidence to pin the fraud on a particular individual. You may very well not have been involved in perpetrating credit card fraud but were singled out anyway.
Another possibility is that the fraud took place unintentionally. You may have assumed that you had the cardholder's consent to make a given purchase. Perhaps you'd forgotten that your card had expired, or you didn't know that your account balance was too low to make a given purchase. An innocent mistake can sometimes lead to serious charges of credit card fraud.
Given that you can face a variety of penalties for credit card fraud, including steep fines and jail time, it's imperative that you discuss your case with a Fresno criminal attorney and figure out what your best defense would be. Don't hesitate to contact us and enlist our services as your advocates in the legal system.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.