Illinois takes all types of fraud seriously, and if you are being charged with credit card fraud, you may be facing a lengthy jail sentence. It is important to understand just what credit card fraud is and what to do if you are charged with that crime.
What is Credit Card Fraud in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, there are several crimes that are considered credit card fraud, including:
- Making a false statement to obtain a credit or debit card
- Possession of another person’s credit or debit card without consent from the owner, with the intent to either use, sell, or transfer it
- Knowingly possessing a lost credit or debit card with the intent to either use, sell, or transfer it
- Buying or selling a credit or debit card without consent from the issuer
- Using a credit card of another as collateral against a debt
- Knowingly using a credit or debit card that is counterfeit, has been forged, is expired, has been revoked, or is an unissued card
- Using a credit or debit card with the intent to defraud someone
What are the Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Illinois?
Being convicted of credit card fraud in Illinois can result in a prison sentence. Most credit card fraud crimes are prosecuted as class 4 felonies in Illinois. A class 4 felony is punishable with one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. However, if there are extenuating circumstances (if, for example, the person defrauded was over the age of 60), you may be convicted of an extended-term class 4 felony. In such cases, you may be sentenced to a prison term of four to six years.
Use of a credit or debit card with the intent to defraud, the most common credit card fraud charge in Illinois, is treated as a class A misdemeanor if the amount is less than $150. A class A misdemeanor is punishable with a sentence of up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Possible Defenses Against Credit Card Fraud Charges
There are many explanations for why people might get into situations that can result in credit card fraud charges, and no two situations are alike. There are a few defenses that can be put forth that may serve to mitigate the circumstances surrounding the charges. For example, if you decide to stop (abandon) your criminal pursuit or you can show that you have some sort of compulsion that led to the fraud charges, these defenses will offset the crimes you are charged with and result in a lower sentence if you are ultimately convicted. If you can show you acted under duress or out of ignorance, that is a complete defense to the charges, meaning the charges could be dropped or you might be acquitted.
The Law Offices of David Freidberg Can Defend Against These Claims
We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to vigorously defend any person facing credit card fraud charges. If that is you, it is important to seek experienced legal representation from a Cook County fraud attorney. Contact us today at 312-560-7100 or email us, for a complimentary consultation to learn how we can fight for you.