If you’re accused of fraud, it means that the state of Florida believes you acted to deceive another individual. The deception usually involves monetary gain. Fraud covers a wide spectrum of offenses and often involves the use of credit cards. Florida law enforcement considers it a grievous offense to use someone else’s credit for your own gain, and prosecutors will likely go after you with a vengeance if you’re suspected. Under §817.61 of the Florida statutes, credit card fraud is a crime against both the holder of the account and the lender. It’s a double-pronged charge and, if you are convicted, you have a lot to lose.
When you make a charge on a credit card that’s not yours, it’s fraud. You’re deceiving both the owner of the account and the credit card company. If you only do this once and you charge no more than $100, it’s a first degree misdemeanor under Florida law. However, if you make charges twice within six months, or if the cost to the lender and to the credit card holder is more than $100, you’re looking at a third degree felony. That’s a big jump and it’s not something you should try to work out on your own. There may be extenuating circumstances and the situation really isn’t as it appears on the surface to law enforcement officials. What if your boyfriend gave you carte blanche with his credit card, then you broke up? He could claim that the transactions you made were fraudulent. You may have believed that you had permission to use a credit card when you did not. At Katz & Phillips, we know how easily these sorts of situations can get out of hand — and the legal repercussions can ruin your future.
You don’t deserve to come out of this with a criminal record, fines and potential imprisonment if there are extenuating circumstances. Contact an attorney at Katz & Phillips as soon as possible so we can sit down and talk about the situation you find yourself in. We’ll use our years of experience to create a defense for you that works. We won’t stop until we find that solution.