This impacts your job, your relationships with friends and family, and your standing within the community. Before you even reach trial, you may find you are not welcome at your neighbor’s BBQ or invited to come back as a coach for your kids’ soccer team next season. Depending on your job, you might be asked to take a leave of absence until everything is sorted out.
If you are put in the position of protecting your reputation and defending against allegations of credit card fraud, contact an Indianapolis credit card fraud lawyer from Hessler Law as soon as possible. The statutory and collateral consequence of a fraud conviction are far reaching and can devastate your life. However, you have the right to a fraud attorney and to fight back.
Indiana Credit Card Fraud
There are an abundance of ways in which you could be accused of and charged with credit card fraud in Indiana. Credit card fraud encompasses a number of actions that almost all boil down to you obtaining money, property, or services through a credit or debit card you should not have used.
Under Indiana Code Section 35-43-5-4, you can be convicted of credit card fraud if you, with the intent to defraud someone else, obtain property by:
- Using a credit card that you knew was unlawfully obtained or kept
- Using a credit card that you knew was forged, revoked, or expired
- Using a credit card that was issued to another person without a permission
- Representing you are the authorized holder of the credit card without the real owner’s permission
- Representing you are the authorized holder of the credit card when it has not been issued
These examples of credit card fraud all involve you using a credit card you should not have had or did not have permission to use. However, the law outlines additional types of credit card fraud, including:
- Knowingly and intentionally selling a credit card
- Receiving a stolen, forged, revoked, or expired credit card
- Receiving property knowing it was obtained through credit card fraud
- Concealing, encumbering, or transferring property to defraud your creditors
Defining a Credit Card
You can find yourself in a great deal of trouble even if you never possess someone else’s physical credit card in your hand. Indiana recognizes that credit cards are more than a piece of plastic, they are information that provides access to a person’s financial account. Because of this, you can be charged with and convicted of credit card fraud even if all you have is the number, expiration date, security code, and/or the PIN for a credit or debit card.
Punishments for a Credit Card Fraud Conviction
In Indiana, credit card fraud is often charged as a Level 6 felony. This is punishable by a minimum of six months and up to 2.5 years in jail or prison and a fine up to $10,000. There is also the possibility of being charged with a higher Level 5 felony, punishable by one to six years’ incarceration and a fine up to $10,000 if you have prior convictions.
You can also expect to pay your victim restitution in addition to your imprisonment and fines. The court can require you to pay back not only the value of what you fraudulently acquired, but also any financial earnings the victim lost or other expenses the victim incurred due to your actions.
Additional Consequences of Conviction
Once you have a felony conviction on your criminal record, you will learn the hard way that there are many collateral consequences that will affect your life for years. A felony conviction will come up on background checks and can affect your ability to:
- Get a job
- Rent an apartment
- Obtain a loan
- Be accepted into a higher education institution
- Be approved for and retain a professional license
- Obtain custody or visitation with your kids
- Own firearms
- Become a citizen or extend your visa
A conviction for fraud can make it particularly hard to get a job, since future employers may not be comfortable with you around money, the business’s accounts, or customer’s credit cards. Unfortunately, that can keep you out of a lot of basic food industry jobs like being a cashier, barista, or waiter or higher positions within company’s finance or human resources departments.
Defending Against Credit Card Fraud Charges
If you have been charged with credit card fraud or you know you are under investigation, contact an Indianapolis credit card fraud lawyer right away. There are many ways to defend against these types of charges, including mistake of identity and consent. If the police arrested the wrong person, we can assert evidence that you were not involved with the crime, including proving your alibi at the time of the offense. If you performed some of the actions relevant to the case but you had permission or not intend to defraud anyone else, then we can provide evidence to support this.
Contact Our Indianapolis Credit Card Fraud Lawyers for Help Today
Being charged with a crime that can ruin your reputation, send you to prison, and devastate your finances is serious and needs to be addressed immediately by a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. Trying to tackle a felony fraud charge yourself is not a realistic option. Instead, your best course of action for proving your innocence or minimizing the consequences of a conviction is to call us at Hessler Law and work with us to determine the strongest defense strategy in regard to your specific case.
To learn more about how we can help, call us at (317) 886-8800 to schedule an initial consultation.