In the state of New Jersey, the fraudulent use of a credit card is a serious crime and, if you are reading this, it probably means that you or someone you love has been charged with this crime and are wondering two things. First, what is this offense, what are its elements, and what must the state prove. Second, you are probably wondering if there is anything that you can do to improve your chances of beating this charge. Fraudulent use of a credit card is a felony offense in New Jersey. If you have been charged with credit card fraud, receiving stolen property, theft by deception, theft of moveable property, burglary or robbery in Morris County, New Jersey we can help. Our team of Morris County defense lawyers have been representing clients charged with credit card fraud in towns like Madison, Montville, Boonton, Dover, Morristown, Pequannock, Butler and Denville for over a decade. To set up a free consultation with any one of the eight Morris County criminal defense attorneys on staff, please contact our Morristown office at 973.309.7050.
Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys in Morris County NJ
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(h): Fraudulent use of a Credit Card Lawyers in Parsippany
In regards to the first question, fraudulent use of credit cards is defined under the New Jersey Criminal Code in N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(h). The statute reads that:
A person who knowingly uses any counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, lost, stolen or fraudulently obtained credit card to obtain money, goods or services, or anything else of value; or who, with unlawful or fraudulent intent, furnishes, acquires, or uses any actual or fictitious credit card, whether alone or together with names of credit cardholders, or other information pertaining to a credit card account in any form, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
To break this down into simpler terms, the crime first requires that the actor do one of these above actions knowingly or purposely. It is not enough for a conviction that someone merely did one of these things recklessly or negligently, they must intend or at least appreciate that what they are doing is wrong. Therefore, it is only a crime to use a counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, lost, stolen or fraudulently obtained card to obtain goods or services if the actor does so with the knowledge that the credit card that they are using is in fact a counterfeit, fictitious, or otherwise false card. Additionally, as the second part of the statute makes clear, it would be a violation of this statute for a person to furnish (make) or acquire a fictitious credit card whether they do it alone or with the credit cardholder.
What are the Penalties for N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(h)?
The last part of important information that one can glean from this is that fraudulent use of a credit card is a crime of the third degree. This means that if you are convicted of this crime, you are looking at the potential of up to 5 years of incarceration, as well as the possibility that you may have to pay upwards of $75,000 in fines. This neglects, however, to mention the stigma that is often associated with crimes that relate to dishonesty. A person convicted of a crime such as this may not only have to serve their time, but then may find that once they are out it will be hard to obtain gainful employment again. With that being said, you may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs, the Pretrial Intervention Program. For more information on this program, please checkout our Pretrial Intervention practice series by clicking the link.
Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys in Rockaway NJ
All of this is not meant to scare you. Rather, it is meant to impress upon you the importance of obtaining the best counsel that you can in fighting these charges, because of their potentially damaging life effects. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges, including fraudulent use of credit card, heroin possession, shoplifting, trespassing, marijuana distribution, cocaine possession charges in Morris County. So please, if you or someone you love has been charged with this crime in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.