New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyers
Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyers Advocate for Clients Arrested on Credit Card Fraud Charges in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Bergen County and Somerset County, NJ
Credit card fraud in New Jersey is a felony-level indictable offense—meaning that a conviction for even one count of credit card fraud can result in the need to disclose that fact to potential employers, landlords and lenders for years to come. In general terms, credit card fraud occurs when you use a credit card that you had no legal right to use—meaning that it was not yours or that you somehow obtained the credit card using someone else’s information.
If you are facing credit card fraud charges in Northern New Jersey, it is critical to retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate the nuances of the law and the complexities of the criminal justice process generally. A talented criminal defense lawyer who understands the elements that the prosecution must prove and can negotiate and advocate on your behalf can mean the difference between years in jail and having the charges dismissed entirely—whether through a diversionary program, such as pre-trial intervention, or based on subtle deficiencies in the prosecution’s case as a whole.
At Zegas Law, our experienced North Jersey credit card defense lawyers know what to look for in uncovering weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We always provide our clients with our honest opinion as to the likelihood that the prosecution will succeed or fail in securing conviction—and we explore every alternative avenue to avoid conviction or get your charges reduced. We know what’s at stake in your case and will work tirelessly to obtain the most favorable result possible for you.
Actions Leading to Credit Card Fraud Charges
Credit card fraud in New Jersey is generally prosecuted as a third-degree criminal offense, meaning that if convicted, you may face punishment of between three to five years in prison, monetary fines, restitution to the victim, probation and you will have a criminal record. To prove that you committed fraud under New Jersey’s credit card fraud statute, the prosecution must establish the following elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt:
- Knowledge (i.e., you knowingly used the fraudulent credit card),
- The credit card was counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, lost, stolen or fraudulently obtained, and
- You used the card in order to obtain money, goods, services or anything of value.
In the alternative, the prosecution can establish credit card fraud by proving that, with unlawful or fraudulent intent, you furnished, acquired or used any actual or fictitious credit card (whether alone or together with names of credit cardholders) or any other information pertaining to a credit card account in any form.
This statute is worded broadly, so that it can apply in a wide variety of situations. Credit card fraud or theft charges may stem from any of the following actions:
- Using a credit card that is not your own,
- Furnishing false information in order to obtain a credit card,
- Stealing another person’s identifying information in order to open a credit card,
- Stealing another person’s credit card information online to make purchases.
Importantly, credit card fraud is often charged in connection with other serious criminal offenses in New Jersey, including:
Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyers Fight to Prevent Conviction in North Jersey
As noted, credit card fraud is a third-degree felony offense. Credit card theft, on the other hand, is a fourth-degree crime. This means that upon conviction for either crime, you will have a felony conviction on your criminal record. In some cases, however, our lawyers can advocate for your admission to New Jersey’s pre-trial intervention program, which is a form of supervised probation that can help you avoid conviction and a criminal record upon successful completion of all terms of the program.
Because pre-trial intervention is generally only available to first offenders, it may not be an option in all cases. Despite this, our skilled lawyers know what it takes to establish flaws in the prosecution’s case and will leave no stone unturned in challenging the prosecution’s evidence and forming a strong defense based upon all of the mitigating evidence available. We know what the prosecution is required to prove to convict on credit card fraud charges, and it is a high standard—and are skilled lawyers are here to work tirelessly in order to hold them to the high standard they must meet to protect your legal rights.
Call Our Experienced Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyers to Fight Your Charges
At Zegas Law, we take the time to comprehensively investigate and evaluate your case so that you get the best possible defense. We devote the majority of our practice to criminal defense and are well-versed in navigating the complexities of the New Jersey criminal justice process. If you have been charged with credit card fraud in Union County or elsewhere in North Jersey, call or contact our skilled defense lawyers to advocate on your behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions About Credit Card Fraud Charges
FAQ: Will I go to jail if I am convicted on credit card fraud charges and this is my first offense?
In cases involving conviction for credit card fraud, there is a presumption against incarceration for most first-time offenders in New Jersey—meaning that you likely will not serve time in jail absent extenuating circumstances, assuming that you have legal counsel with the knowledge necessary to advocate for this result. Despite this, the presumption against incarceration applies to state prison. You can be required to serve up to 364 days in county jail as a condition of your probation if you are convicted of credit card fraud and not sentenced to state prison.
FAQ: What if I did not actually obtain anything of value through using a credit card that wasn’t mine?
The credit card fraud statute does not actually require that you obtain something of value in order to be convicted of the crime—a conviction can stand simply because you intended to obtain something of value or because you obtained the credit card with fraudulent intent.