Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards in Florida – Attorney Insights
Under Sec. 817.61, Florida Statutes, the elements of Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards in Florida are the following:
- A person used a credit card with the intent to defraud the credit-card issuer or a provider of goods, services, or anything of value;
- The person unlawfully obtained the credit card, knew the credit card was forged, or falsely represented that the cardholder had authorized its use; AND
- The person obtained goods, services, or anything of value through such use.
Penalties for Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards in Florida
|Fraudulent Uses & Value Obtained
|Type of Offense
|Two or Fewer Fraudulent Uses and Obtaining Less Than $100 of Value
|Up to 1 year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine
|More Than Two Fraudulent Uses or Obtaining $100 or More of Value
|Up to 5 years of prison or probation, and a $5,000 fine
How to Fight a Charge of Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards in Florida?
Lack of Intent
As part of its case, the State must prove that you knowingly misrepresented that the credit-card use was unauthorized and that you had the intent to defraud.
Under Florida law, even if you take steps to attempt to commit a crime, you cannot be found guilty if you abandoned the crime before it is completed. It must be clear that you completely abandoned any criminal intent and that the abandonment was voluntary. For example, abandonment is not a defense if bad weather prevented you from committing a crime, or if police stopped you before you could complete the crime.
The law requires that every fraudulent use of a credit card within a 6-month period be aggregated into a single charge—in other words, multiple fraudulent uses within that time frame are considered together as a single offense. Therefore, double jeopardy prohibits the State from convicting you on multiple charges for a single 6-month period, as that would impose multiple punishments for a single offense.
Proving Value of Fraud
If your charge is based on obtaining $100 or more of value, which is a third-degree felony, then part of the State’s burden is proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the property was worth at least $100. If the State fails to do so, or if the value of the property can’t be determined, then you can only be found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punished less severely.
Other Potential Defenses
Here are just a few of the myriad other strategies we can use to challenge the State’s case or prove your innocence:
- Moving to throw out evidence that was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights
- Show that there is no evidence supporting the charge
- Show that you have an alibi
What does it mean to be charged with fraudulent use of a credit card?
It implies that an individual is accused of using a credit card with intent to defraud the credit card issuer or a merchant, usually by making unauthorized purchases.
What’s the potential penalty for credit card fraud in Florida?
Depending on the number of fraudulent uses and the value obtained, it can range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony with associated fines and potential jail or probation time.
How can a lawyer help with my credit card fraud charge?
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can challenge the state’s case, prove your innocence, or negotiate for lesser penalties.
How does Leppard Law handle cases of credit card fraud?
Leppard Law provides aggressive and highly skilled legal representation to dismiss charges, reduce potential penalties, or enroll clients into the Pre-Trial Diversion Program.
You can contact Leppard Law by dialing 407-476-4111.
Leppard Law: Your Legal Aid in Credit Card Fraud Cases
Being charged with the Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards requires aggressive representation by a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Our team at Leppard Law: Florida DUI Lawyers & Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC, can facilitate the dismissal of the charges, negotiate a less severe punishment, or enter you into the Pre-Trial Diversion Program. High-quality representation effectively reduces or even eliminates potential civil consequences of criminal prosecution such as claims for restitution, damages, and forfeiture. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime related to the fraudulent use of credit cards, dial 407-476-4111 today.