Out of the number of crimes that are usually recognized as “white collar crimes”, credit card fraud is one that most people have some degree of familiarity with. Credit card fraud is covered frequently in the media and is a very serious crime, resulting in felony charges and steep penalties if convicted – as well as the residual stigma that could follow anyone with a prior conviction of this crime in the future. It is in the best interest of anyone charged with credit or debit card fraud to seek legal representation that is knowledgeable and experienced in defending crimes of this nature.
What is Credit Card Fraud?
Nevada defines credit card fraud as a crime that occurs when there is an intentional attempt to use or the intentional and successful use of a credit or debit card in an unlawful way. This can include a wide variety of actions, from applying for a credit card using false information to knowingly using a credit card that has expired or has been revoked, but very often refers to someone using the credit or debit card or card number without the permission of the owner of that card. Credit card fraud is considered a white collar crime. White collar crimes are typically defined as crimes that are non-violent in nature and that involve some form of concealment, theft, deception or fraud.
Nevada Revised Statutes Regarding Credit Card Fraud
There are many Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) that apply to credit and debit card fraud. A simplified list of these statutes and what they cover is as follows:
● NRS 205.680 – Intentionally using false information for the procurement of a credit or debit card.
● NRS 205.690 – Stealing, taking, removing or possessing a credit or debit card or the identifying information on the card or account from the cardholder without their consent or knowledge.
● NRS 205.710 – Selling or buying either a credit or debit card or the identifying information of the credit or debit card and/or the account they are connected to.
● NRS 205.720 – Obtaining control of a credit or debit card as security for debt.
● NRS 205.740 – The forgery of a credit or debit card with intent to defraud and/or the possession of two or more falsely made cards.
● NRS 205.750 – The unauthorized signing of a credit or debit card, a sales receipt or other related instrument with intention of defraud.
● NRS 205.760 – The fraudulent use of a credit or debit card, or the identifying information of a credit or debit card and/or the account they are connected to obtain money, goods, property, services or more.
● NRS 205.770 – Fraud by a person who was authorized to use a credit or debit card who then intentionally uses that card to fraudulently furnish money, goods, services or other things of value.
● NRS 205.780 – Fraud by a person who was authorized to use a credit or debit card who then intentionally used that card to fraudulently furnish or fail to furnish money, good, property, services or other things of value and then intentionally misrepresented to the cardholder the value of the purchases made or failed to be made.
● NRS 205.790 – The possession of two or more incomplete credit or debit cards or the equipment or machinery needed to produce fraudulent cards.
● NRS 205.800 – The receiving of property, money, goods services or other things of value by someone that knows or believes that these things were obtained by unlawful use of a credit or debit card.
Federal Credit Card Fraud
The fraudulent use of credit or debit cards can also be a federal crime, with allegations resulting in the investigation of the alleged crime by the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, and the National Fraud Information Center. Federal charges of credit card fraud can be sought when the crime involves fraud that has crossed state lines or was committed either on property belonging to the federal government or committed against an entity of the federal government. It is possible for a crime of credit card fraud that meets these conditions can be tried in both the state and federal courts in Nevada.
Defending Charges of Credit Card Fraud
In the state of Nevada, most charges of credit card fraud can be defended in one or more of the following ways:
● No deliberate intention by the person charged with this crime to use a credit or debit card in an unlawful way.
● An illegal search and seizure of evidence related to the fraud by police who obtained this evidence without proper procedure (such as obtaining a warrant).
● The mistaken identification and subsequent arrest of someone for committing credit card fraud who did not do so.
Penalties for the Conviction of Credit Card Fraud
The conviction of a crime that involved the fraudulent use of a credit or debit card or the information from a card or the account associated with it can result in serious penalties in Nevada.
For credit card fraud that is prosecuted as category D felony, the penalties are as follows:
● From 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison
● Up to $5,000 in potential fines and the potential for restitution paid to the victim of the fraud
For credit card fraud that is prosecuted as a Gross Misdemeanor, the penalties are:
● Up to 1 year in jail
● Up to $2,000 in potential fines
For knowingly using a credit or debit card that is expired or been revoked, the penalties can vary:
● For an amount of less than $100 within 6 months, the crime is a misdemeanor and can result in up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in potential fines.
● For an amount of over $100 within 6 months, the crime is a category D felony, which can result in 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison, up to $5,000 in fines and restitution to the legal cardholder.
Anyone who has been accused of credit card fraud should seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. The more time your legal counsel has to build a proper defense, the better your chances of overcoming these charges and their potentially negative effect on your future. If you have been charged with a credit or debit card fraud, we invite you to contact our office today. We offer free case evaluations and are ready to hear your side of the story.