New Jersey Credit Card Theft, Fraud or Forgery Laws Under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6
There are a wide variety of crimes in Union County to which credit cards may be associated. The most prevalent of the charges is credit card theft which basically involves stealing cards. The second pedigree of offense is known as credit card fraud and entails two different scenarios: (1) providing false information to obtain a credit card; or (2) the unauthorized use of credit cards. The third and final variety of this offense is credit card forgery, stated another way, counterfeiting credit cards.
Credit Card Theft: Section 2C:21-6(c)
Section 2C:21-6(c) provides that it shall constitute a “theft” for someone to take a credit card without the cardholder’s consent, to take a card that is lost, mislaid or mistakenly delivered, or to buy a credit card from someone other than the issuer. Less commonly, persons may also charged with credit card theft when they obtain a credit card to secure a debt or through the unauthorized signing of a credit card. Credit card theft is typically a crime of the fourth degree.
Credit Card Fraud: Section 2C:21-6(b)
It is “fraud” to provide false or misleading information to obtain a credit card in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(b). This false statement could be made directly or indirectly, with the intent that it be relied upon in furtherance of obtaining a credit card. The burden is on the prosecutor to prove that the statement was knowingly false, and not just accidental. Credit card fraud can typically result in being charged with a crime of the third or fourth degree.
Credit Card Forgery: 2C:21-6(d)
It is a crime to counterfeit, alter, or use a credit card that is forged, revoked or expired under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6(d). Section 2C:21-6(d) of the statute also renders it fraudulent to misrepresent ones identity as that of the true cardholder, or to misrepresent the authority and consent of the cardholder to use the card. Credit card forgery is typically a crime of the third degree.
Fines, Penalties and Consequences for a Credit Card Offense Convictions
Credit card offenses are usually a third or fourth degree offense, which could carry anywhere from 3-10 years in jail per count, though there may be a presumption against incarceration for first-offenders. Perhaps even more devastating is the fact that these crimes involve theft, and credit card theft, fraud, or forgery on a person’s criminal record could derail a career path and interfere with finding employment for many years.
Fraud, theft, and forgery charges could also interfere with a person’s immigration status, as these charges may be considered crimes of moral turpitude. It is critical that these charges are handled by an experienced criminal defense firm, and legal representation should be involved as early on in the process as possible.
Get Help With Credit Card Theft, Fraud, or Forgery Charges From a Cranford, NJ Criminal Lawyer
If you would like to learn more about the Credit Card laws in Union County or are seeking representation, one of our lawyers is available to assist you. The attorneys at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, have been handling every type of credit card case for decades. Jonathan Marshall is a former prosecutor with over 20 years of defense experience. Thomas V. Campo is also a former County and municipal prosecutor with over 20 years in practice. Our most experienced lawyer on staff, Colin Bonus, has been defending individuals for over 30 years.
We believe our compliment of experience is second to none in Union County and we would welcome the opportunity to speak to you about a charge alleging credit card theft, credit card fraud or credit card forgery. Do not hesitate to give us a call anytime 24/7 at 908-272-1700 to speak to an attorney or to arrange an appointment at our Union County law office.