Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

In Virginia, white collar crime is treated very seriously by law enforcement. Those who are facing white collar crime charges need to understand the penalties they could have to deal with in the event of a conviction. One particular white collar crime that is growing increasingly common is credit card fraud. Knowing the laws of the state when it comes to these crimes is important when lodging a defense.

Credit fraud occurs when there is an attempt to defraud another by using an illegally obtained credit card number to acquire money or to purchase goods and services. It also occurs when the money, goods or services or anything else that is deemed to have value is acquired by using someone else's credit card without that person's consent or by someone who claims to be the holder of the card when he or she is not.

In addition, it is a crime if the control of the credit card is obtained to function as security for a debt or is used to garner money from an unmanned device such as an ATM machine. It is possible to commit fraud against the issuer of the credit card if goods, services or valuables are obtained by using the credit card or the card number if the card has been revoked or expired.

The level of charges and its penalties depend on how much the goods and services obtained through credit card fraud are worth. If the amount does not surpass $200 in a six month time frame, then it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor. If it surpasses $200 in a six month period, it will be a Class 6 felony. A conspiracy to commit credit card fraud within the Commonwealth of Virginia will also be a Class 6 felony.

Those who are facing charges for credit card fraud need to understand what the ramifications are if there is a conviction. It's possible that there was an honest mistake made that led to the charges. Regardless of the circumstances, it is key to formulate a sound defense with an attorney experienced in defending white collar crime charges.

Source: leg1.state.va.us, "18.2-195. Credit card fraud; conspiracy; penalties.," accessed on June 15, 2015

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