It may seem alluring to use someone else’s credit in order to obtain goods and services, however, it is a serious crime in Connecticut. Legally, fraud involves acts of dishonesty and/or intentional misrepresentation or deception. There are several different types of fraud you can be charged with, which we will go over below. The article will then outline what to expect with the first courtroom appearance and why having a credit card fraud lawyer is essential to a positive outcome.
Below is a brief description of the different types of credit card theft and whether they are classified as a misdemeanor or felony.
Credit Card Theft: Stealing another’s credit card or receiving a credit card you know to be stolen is a class A misdemeanor
Selling or Buying a Stolen Credit Card: Buying or selling a stolen credit card is a class A misdemeanor
Using a Credit Card as Debt Security: Using a credit card in order to defraud the credit card company, any participating party, and/or persons providing services goods, or any asset is a class A misdemeanor
Forgery: Making a false credit or debit card with the intent to defraud the credit card company, any participating party, and/or persons providing services, goods, or any asset, is a class D felony
Signing Another’s Credit Card: Any person that fraudulently signs the credit card of another without their authorization with the intent to defraud could be charged with a class A misdemeanor
False Statements on Credit Application: Any false statements on a credit application regarding identity, finances, assets, debts, etc that are used and relied on by the issuer to supply a credit card is a misdemeanor
Misdemeanors: For a class A misdemeanor, you could be fined up to $2,000 and sentenced to up to 1 year in prison.
Felonies: For a class D felony you could be fined up to $5,000 and sentenced to prison for up to 5 years.
After your arrest, it is very important to hire a credit card fraud lawyer prior to your first court appearance, called the arraignment. The following is what to expect during your arraignment.
Appearance. You will first have your name called and asked to appear before the judge. Make sure you are dressed professionally and regard the judge in a respectful manner.
Charges and Rights. The judge will read you the charges brought forth by the district attorney, and may also read you your rights, including our right to a jury trial, your right to have an attorney, etc.
Representation. The judge will then ask if you are represented by an attorney. Hopefully, you were able to hire a credit card fraud lawyer before this appearance, but if you have not, you can tell the judge you have not hired one yet, but you would like a continuance so that you can confer with a new credit card fraud lawyer concerning your case.
Plea. The judge will ask you to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” for the record. Typically, defendants enter a plea of “not guilty” to preserve their rights and seek a continuance to obtain a credit card fraud lawyer.
Bail. Bail may be set at this appearance, or you may be released to return to your next court date on your agreement that you will return. Failing to show up to scheduled criminal court appearances can result in increased bail and warrant issued for your arrest.
Being adequately represented by a credit card fraud lawyer will not only prepare you for the charges you are facing but also countless other benefits such as protect your rights during the whole process, be your strongest advocate and ensure a positive outcome.
NOTE: This blog is for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.