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Stafford County Credit Card Fraud Lawyer

Credit card fraud involves using the credit card information of someone else without permission or falsifying credit card information in some way to obtain money. You should contact a Stafford County credit card fraud card lawyer as soon as you know you are under investigation.

If you were contacted by a law enforcement or loss prevention officer, or received a criminal charge, you should contact an attorney. A skilled fraud defense attorney can help you build a strong defense for your charges.

Defining Skimming

Skimming refers to financial transactions where someone charges a small amount on top of a legitimate transaction and then transfers that money to themselves. One of the ways that skimming can occur is when a credit card is presented at a point of sale and the person conducting the sale adds a small amount of money to the transaction which they transfer to themselves. This fits the definition of credit card fraud under Virginia law.

The person might be a sales associate in a store or a waiter in a restaurant. There are devices that can swipe a credit card on away from the view of the customer. Credit card fraud can also happen when someone inputs their credit card information for a sale or transaction online.

Potential Penalties

Most credit card fraud offenses are felonies. The most common are Class 6 felonies which can carry up to five years in prison or 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Even the misdemeanor versions of credit card fraud are Class 1 misdemeanors which can carry up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Common Misconceptions

Probably the biggest misconception about credit card fraud in Stafford County is that it is not a serious crime. It is an easy crime to commit and young people are increasingly mixed up in credit card fraud. If a person purchases a discounted gift card without a name and attempts to use it at a store, it is credit card fraud. These cases often turn into felonies which can lead to a felony conviction especially in Stafford County. A person must be careful when using credit cards and be skeptical of anyone selling a card or gift card at a discounted price.

Felony vs Misdemeanor

These charges have a long lasting impact, even if a person is not charged with a felony. A plea agreement cam work out to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The charge on their record can affect their current employment and has the potential to affect future employment. Stafford County credit card fraud attorneys should be contacted as soon as possible to mitigate potential penalties.

Role of an Attorney

The first role of a criminal attorney in a credit card case is to defend the case. A Stafford County credit card fraud attorney can use their knowledge to challenge the government’s evidence. A lawyer can make sure the client’s constitutional rights are not violated. The attorney must use every tactic to have the charge dismissed or reduced; or to mitigate the impact of the conviction.

The lawyer can walks you through every step of the process. An attorney can tell you what to expect at each phase and help you make important decisions. This can help you prepare for anything that happens and be well-prepared for the eventualities.

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