Credit Card Crimes

The crime of credit card fraud is defined as the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card to fraudulently obtain money or property. Florida law provides for a number of different crimes involving payment cards. Most of these crimes involve allegations of theft, fraud or forgery on a credit card or debit card. Credit card fraud can also include crimes involving similar payment tools such as ACH, EFT, or the recurring charge.

Some cases involving a card being physically stolen, although most cases involve information be stolen from unsecured websites or through an identity theft scheme. Most credit card fraudsters get caught when the alleged victim files a police report to have the charges reversed.

Attorney for Credit Card Crimes in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you were charged with any type of crime for theft, fraud or forgery involving a credit card, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in Broward County.

Related offenses include the unlawful use of a scanner device, illegal possession of a credit card machine, or illegally factoring credit card transactions.

Call (954) 716-8538 today to discuss any credit card fraud case.


Types of Credit Card Crimes

Florida Law provides for several different ways that credit card crimes involving theft, fraud or forgery can be charged including:

  • 817.481(1) AND (3)(A) - OBTAINING GOODS BY USE OF FALSE CREDIT CARD;
  • 817.481(1) AND (3)(B) - OBTAINING GOODS BY USE OF FALSE CREDIT CARD;
  • 817.60(1) - THEFT OF A CREDIT CARD;
  • 817.60(2) - UNAUTHORIZED POSSESSION OF A CREDIT CARD;
  • 817.60(5) - DEALING IN CREDIT CARDS OF ANOTHER;
  • 817.60(6)(A) - CREDIT CARD FORGERY;
  • 817.60(8) - UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A STOLEN CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD;
  • 817.61 - FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD;
  • 817.611(2)(A) - TRAFFICKING OR POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT CREDIT CARDS;
  • 817.62(3)(A) - ILLEGALLY FACTORING CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS;
  • 817.631 AND 817.67(2) - POSSESS CREDIT CARD MACHINE; and
  • 817.625(2)(A) - UNLAWFUL USE OF A SCANNER DEVICE.

Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card in Florida

The most common credit card crime in Florida involves the fraudulent use of credit cards which requires proof of the following elements:

  • the defendant used a credit card;
  • with the intent to defraud a merchant;
  • obtains money, goods, services, or anything else of value from the merchant; 
  • when the credit card was:
    • unlawfully obtained;
    • known to be forged; or
    • presented under the pretense the actual credit card holder authorized the use.

Florida law provides that the fraudulent use of a credit card that occurs multiple times within a six-month period is treated as one single crime rather than multiple discrete crimes. The punishments for Fraudulent Use of Credit Card crimes depend on several factors including:

  • The value of the goods obtained within a six-month span; or
  • The number of times the credit card was used within a six-month span.

Credit Card Crimes Charged as a Misdemeanor

Depending on the number of times the credit card is used, the crime of Fraudulent use of a Credit Card in Florida can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor if (during any 6-month period) the credit card was unlawfully used:

  • Less than two times; and
  • Items valued at less than $100 were obtained.

The first-degree misdemeanor version of "Fraudulent use of a Credit Card" is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Credit Card Crimes Charged as a Felony

When the Felony Fraudulent use of a Credit Card occurred more than two times in any 6-month period or when the item(s) obtained were valued at more than $100, the crime is charged as a third-degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000 fine. The felony version of Felony Fraudulent use of a Credit Card is classified with a severity ranking as a Level 2 under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.


Additional Resources

FBI on Credit Card Frauds - Visit the website of the FBI to learn more about credit card fraud and the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or similar payment tool including recurring charges, EFT, and ACH, to fraudulently obtain money or property. Find out why these crimes occur when credit card information is stolen from unsecured websites or obtained in an identity theft scheme. Find tips to avoid credit card fraud.


Contact a Lawyer for Credit Card Offenses in Broward County, FL

After an arrest for the Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards in Fort Lauderdale or Broward County, FL, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Speak with an attorney during the free initial consultation to find out more about the charges pending against you, the elements of the offense that must be proven at trial, and the best ways to fight the charges.

Call (954) 716-8538 today.


This article was last updated on Friday, April 27, 2018.

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