What are the Penalties for First Time Credit Fraud?
These days, there is a great deal of attention surrounding credit card fraud. Defendants accused of credit card fraud face severe penalties under state and federal law. While each state has its own definition of what constitutes fraud and what the penalties for the specific crimes are, the potential penalties in Arizona severe. Those found guilty of credit fraud face criminal consequences, which typically include fines and jail time, both of which can impact the likelihood of maintaining or finding a job. If you have been accused, you should speak with a professional Phoenix criminal defense attorney.
Credit Fraud in Arizona
Before examining the penalties for first time offenders of credit fraud, it is helpful to understand the law. Arizona Revised Statute 13-2102 defines credit fraud as the act of obtaining a credit card by “fraudulent means.” Obtaining a credit card under fraudulent means includes controlling the credit card without the cardholder’s consent and/or selling or transferring the card or card information with the intent to defraud. While there are other elements to the statute, whether you are found guilty of credit card fraud depends on the statute itself, prior case law, and whether the prosecution is able to satisfy its burden of proof through convincing and accurate evidence.
First Time Credit Fruad
In the state of Arizona, first time offenders found guilty of credit fraud typically face a class five felony. Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-701, a class five felony may face a presumptive term of two years. The maximum punishment term is 2.5 years, 3 years supervised probation, and $150,000 in fines and surcharges.
If the circumstances are considered to be aggravated, the penalties for first time credit fraud may be harsher. Credit fraud is considered to be aggravated when one attains another person’s identity for the purpose of obtaining employment, causes the victim to suffer an economic loss of $3,000 or more, or gains hold of the identity of three or more persons. If you are convicted of aggravated credit fraud, you face a class three felony, where you may face:
- A maximum of eight years in prison
- 5 years of supervised probation
- Significant fines
If you have been accused of credit fraud, the consequences are potentially severe. Hiring legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer may possibly mitigate your charges or defend you in trial. Our competent criminal defense attorneys will help defend you now to fight for your future. If you need the help of a Phoenix credit fraud attorney to defend your case, do not hesitate to contact Tyler Allen Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. We have the experience and knowledge you need.