As technology continues to rapidly advance, computers and electronic transactions become more and more commonplace. As a result, so have the opportunities to be charged with credit card fraud.
Along with other charges which involve an element of dishonesty, these crimes are regarded as very serious offenses in New York — and already-severe penalties have only become worse for alleged offenders over time. New statutes designed to combat identity fraud and identity theft have expanded the reach of prosecutors, making these charges more and more difficult for defendants to fight against.
Unfortunately, this means that if you have been charged, it is likely that the prosecutor is already preparing a comprehensive case against you. When you are facing a trained prosecuting attorney in court, you need the dedicated professional support of a Queens credit card fraud defense attorney who has experience handling these matters.
To schedule a confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Victor Knapp, Esq., at (718) 263-9000 right away. Let’s start exploring your options for the future.
Victor Knapp: Queens Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer
Credit card fraud may not be physically violent, but it still has the potential to wreak devastating financial havoc on its victims. As a result, these charges tend to be exhaustively investigated, and convictions can lead to very damaging and long-lasting consequences. When you are facing such harsh allegations, it is critical that you have the guidance of an experienced defense lawyer who can defend your rights, fight your charges, and walk you through the developments of your case as it progresses.
Queens attorney Victor Knapp has more than 33 years of practical experience providing aggressive representation in a wide variety of criminal cases. He has worked with thousands of clients throughout the New York City area, including both misdemeanor and felony charges against juveniles and adults alike. You don’t have to face this difficult time alone: call the law offices of Victor Knapp to see how we may be able to assist you.
When is Credit Card Fraud Charged?
Unlike other crimes which have been documented in human society for thousands of years, credit card fraud is a relatively new phenomenon. Because of the inherent connection to technology, the nature of these offenses is changing all the time.
In the past, it was typical for credit card fraud to be connected to theft of the physical card and subsequent in-person use. Today, however, these sorts of cases have largely been phased out. Often, it is not necessarily the physical card itself that is valuable, but rather the information contained on the card’s magnetic strip.
As a result, many modern credit card fraud schemes are allegedly carried out via “skimming.” Skimming means that when a person swipes their card to make a legitimate purchase, the card is either read twice — once by the machine and then once by a “bug” — or the information is intercepted before or during transmission. In other instances, large data breaches of retailers (such as the recently reported data breach at Target) can result in credit card data being posted online and sold to the highest bidder.
The attempted use of a revoked or cancelled card is yet another form this crime can take. This type of fraud is criminalized by Article 165 of the New York Penal Law. Under S 165.17, fraud committed using a credit card, debit card, or public benefits card is strictly prohibited. To be guilty of this offense a jury must find that the defendant both:
- Obtained property or goods (or attempted to do so) by providing a card that was revoked or cancelled.
- Knew the card was revoked or canceled at the time it was presented.
This offense is graded as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable in New York by:
- Up to 1 year in prison.
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
Related Identity Theft Charges
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of 2012 a staggering 85% of identity theft incidents “involved the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information.” As this piece of data suggests, fraud is often charged in connection with additional identity theft charges. This may occur if the prosecutor claims that the alleged fraud was either accomplished by or associated with a fake, forged, or stolen:
- Bank Account Number
- Social Security Number (SSN)
While credit card fraud is an A misdemeanor under S 165.17, several identity theft charges can be classified as felonies under Article 190:
- 2nd Degree: E Felony (S 190.79), up to 4 years
- 1st Degree: D Felony (S 190.80), up to 7 years
In addition to the formal penalties for these various fraud and theft charges, a conviction could also burden you with great difficulties in matters of employment — especially for those who work in the banking or financial industries.
If you have been charged with fraud or identity theft in New York, it is very important that you speak to an experienced defense attorney right away. To set up a private case evaluation, call the law offices of Victor Knapp, Esq., at (718) 263-9000, or contact us online today.