The New Jersey Credit Card Fraud Act, found in section N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, encompasses a broad range of offenses related to credit cards, including false statements made in obtaining a credit card, credit card theft, and fraudulent use of credit cards. Each of these offenses is considered extremely serious, alleging that the defendant either lied, stole, defrauded, or some combination of each. In many scenarios, merchandise or other property is acquired during the commission of the offense, which gives rise to accompanying charges such as theft by deception. In other cases, charges for forgery or identity theft may be issued in coordination with credit card fraud charges, spelling additional consequences for the accused if he or she is ultimately found guilty. An experienced attorney who understands the nuances of credit card fraud cases can truly spell the difference between victory and defeat in a court of law. In order to position yourself for the best possible outcome, it is highly advisable to seek knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our attorneys employ over 100 years of combined legal experience when strategically approaching a case. Our award-winning team includes lawyers named among the Top 100 Criminal Attorneys, Top 40 Criminal Attorneys under 40, and Best Attorneys in America by organizations such as National Trial Lawyers. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this level of recognition, and dedicate ourselves each and every day to ensuring that we live up to these hard-earned reputations. After a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your charges, we will consult with you and the members of our criminal trial team to arrive at the best possible solution. Understanding your unique situation and thoroughly outlining your available options will allow us to make collaborative and confident choices as we move forward. To speak with one of our talented attorneys today, contact our Somerset County offices at 908-722-1011 for a cost-free consultation.
Credit Card Fraud Charges in New Jersey: The Legal Language
In order to fully understand the charges within New Jersey’s Credit Card Fraud Act and their associated implications, we must first understand the language used within the statute. The important terms within N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6 include the following:
- ” Cardholder” means the person or organization named on the face of a credit card to whom or for whose benefit the credit card is issued by an issuer;
- ” Credit card” means any tangible or intangible instrument or device issued with or without fee by an issuer that can be used, alone or in connection with another means of account access, in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value on credit, including credit cards, credit plates, account numbers, or any other means of account access;
- ” Expired credit card” means a credit card which is no longer valid because the term shown either on it or on documentation provided to the cardholder by the issuer has elapsed;
- ” Issuer” means the business organization or financial institution which issues a credit card or its duly authorized agent;
- ” Receives” or ” receiving” means acquiring possession or control or accepting a credit card as security for a loan; and
- ” Revoked credit card” means a credit card which is no longer valid because permission to use it has been suspended or terminated by the issuer.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(b): False Statement Made in Obtaining a Credit Card
A person who makes or causes to be made, either directly or indirectly, any false statement in writing, knowing it to be false and with intent that it be relied on, respecting his identity or that of any other person, firm or corporation, or his financial condition or that of any other person, firm or corporation, for the purpose of procuring the issuance of a credit card is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(c): Credit Card Theft
There are six distinct forms of credit card theft enumerated under New Jersey Law, including:
- Taking a credit card without the cardholder’s consent;
- Receiving a lost, mislaid or mistakenly delivered credit card;
- Selling or purchasing a credit card from someone other than the issuer;
- Obtaining a credit card to secure a debt;
- Falsely making, counterfeiting or modifying a credit card; and
- Unauthorized signing of a credit card.
Depending on the circumstances of the specific case, credit card theft can be classified as a third or fourth degree crime.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(d): Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards
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.
Contact our Bound Brook NJ Credit Card Fraud Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
The punishments associated with credit card fraud charges reflect their severity, with penalties that can hinder your reputation, finances, and long-term goals. For example, third degree credit card fraud charges are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years, while fourth degree credit card theft or fraud convictions may result in a prison sentence of up to 18 months. Like other theft and fraud offenses, those involving credit cards may also lead to significant fines and restitution payments to the victim or victims.
To discuss your credit card fraud case with one of our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at 908-722-1011 today. Consultations are always provided free of charge.