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Credit Card Fraud

If you or a loved one are being charged with or investigated for credit card fraud, you should immediately contact Orange County credit card fraud lawyer William Weinberg. In California, it’s illegal to fraudulently use a credit card to obtain money, goods, services, or anything of value using a credit card or debit card. Credit card fraud is a wobbler, meaning the prosecutor has the ability to charge it as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. If convicted for credit card fraud, an individual could face up to 3 years in California State Prison. So, if you’re charged with credit card fraud, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately to schedule a consultation to discuss the charges against you and create a defense strategy.

What is Credit Card Fraud in California?

California Penal Code Section 484 punishes several different forms of credit card fraud. Here are the most popular types of credit card fraud.

  1. California Penal Code §484(e) makes it a crime to sell or transfer a person’s credit card number without their permission to commit fraud. Also, §484(e) makes it a crime to possess a person’s credit card or credit card number without the cardholder’s permission to commit fraud.
  2. California Penal Code §484(f) makes it a crime for an individual to create a counterfeit or forged credit card. This section also makes it a crime to make alterations to a credit card, such as signing a credit card or signing a credit card transaction receipt without the authority to do so to commit fraud.
  3. California Penal Code §484(g) makes it a crime for an individual to use a credit or debit card to fraudulently obtain money, goods, services, or anything else of value without the credit card holder’s consent. This section also applies to using forged, stolen, altered, or an expired credit card to obtain anything of value.
  4. California Penal Code §484(h) makes it a crime for a retailer to accept a credit card that is counterfeit, forged, expired, revoked, or is being used without the consent of the cardholder to fraudulently make a payment for good, services, or anything of value.
  5. California Penal Code §484(i) makes it a crime for an individual to change or modify a credit card or credit card information to authorize a transaction fraudulently. It also makes it a crime to make or possess equipment that’s used to make counterfeit credit or debit cards.
Credit Card Fraud Under Federal Law

In addition to being charged with credit card fraud under State law, Federal charges may also be brought against you. This is so because federal law also makes it a crime to use a credit card for fraudulent purposes. As such, you should consult with your attorney to understand what charges may be brought against you on a state level, as well as a federal level.

Examples of Credit Card Fraud

The most common example of credit card fraud that we encounter involves an individual being stopped for a simple traffic violation. Upon search of the individual’s vehicle, the police find several different credit cards with the names of different individuals. In this case, the prosecution may charge the individual with credit card fraud under §484 because it makes it illegal to possess stolen credit cards and credit card information to commit fraud.

A second common example of credit card fraud occurs when an employer gives an employee a credit card to make purchases for a company. The individual then uses the credit card to make a personal purchase that the employer did not authorize. This constitutes credit card fraud because the individual is making a purchase using a credit card without the consent of the card owner or card issuer to do so.

A third common example of credit card fraud is committed when an individual uses a counterfeit credit card or forged credit card to make a purchase at a department store. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charges with credit card fraud, please contact Orange County credit card fraud lawyer William Weinberg.

A fourth common example of credit card fraud involves using a credit card number to make an online purchase without the permission of the cardholder to do so. If you make such unauthorized use of a credit card, you may be charged with credit card fraud.

Punishment for Credit Card Fraud

If the amount of money involved in credit card fraud is $950 or less, the prosecution usually brings misdemeanor credit card fraud charges against a defendant. If convicted, an individual may be imprisoned for a maximum of 6 months in county jail, as well as pay a fine of up to $1000. However, if the amount of credit card fraud exceeds $950, the prosecution can bring felony credit card fraud charges against the defendant. If convicted of felony credit card fraud, the defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of 3 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. If federal charges are brought against an individual, the prison sentences are much longer, and the fines are much higher. So, if you’re charged with or are being investigated for credit card fraud, you should immediately contact experienced credit card fraud attorney William Weinberg.

Credit Card Fraud Defenses

If you or a loved one find yourselves being charged with credit card fraud, you should hire an experienced credit card fraud attorney William Weinberg in Orange County to formulate a defense strategy to have the charges against you dropped or to obtain a favorable plea deal. One of the defenses that Mr. Weinberg may use to prove your innocence is that you had the consent of the credit card owner to use his credit card. Also, if, for example, you mistakenly used your roommate’s credit card believing it to be your own card, this could be a defense to the charges against you. A third defense that may be used is to show that you did not have the intent to defraud. If any of the facts of your case support a showing that you did not have the requisite intent to commit fraud, Mr. Weinberg will point them out to establish your innocence. A variety of other defenses may apply to your situation, but the only way to know which defenses apply to your case is to contact lawyer William Weinberg.

Again, if you or someone you love is being charged with or investigated with credit card fraud, you should immediately contact credit card fraud attorney William Weinberg in Orange County. Mr. Weinberg has years of experience defending individuals accused of credit card fraud. Credit card fraud carries serious repercussions, so contacting an experienced to formulate a sound legal defense strategy is of the utmost importance. You can contact Mr. Weinberg at 1-949-474-8008.

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