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Las Vegas Credit Card Fraud Attorney

Credit Card Fraud Attorney In Las Vegas, NV

If somebody uses, steals, or receives another person’s credit or debit card, they may face credit card fraud charges in Nevada. These are sometimes felony offenses that come with the possibility of significant time in prison and fines. Even though these white-collar crimes are very serious, it might be possible to get the charges reduced if there was never any intent to defraud. That’s where a skilled Las Vegas credit card fraud attorney can challenge the evidence in these cases and make it very difficult for a prosecutor to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you are facing credit card fraud charges in Las Vegas, it is critical for you to immediately seek legal representation. The Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers routinely represents clients throughout Clark County who have been accused of similar white-collar crimes. Contact our office today to receive a consultation and to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

Credit Or Debit Card Defined

NRS 205.690 applies to both credit and debit cards, which look identical but serve different purposes. A debit card is linked to a person’s bank account while a credit card draws from a line of credit. However, you don’t need to possess a physical card to be charged with this offense; it’s also illegal under NRS 205.690(5)(a) simply to have someone else’s credit or debit card information without their consent. In other words, if you don’t have someone else’s physical card and instead copied down the card number (without permission), you could be breaking this law.

Credit Card Fraud Charges in Nevada

Credit Card Fraud offenses can be complex and charged in a variety of different ways. If you don’t have experienced legal representation from a Las Vegas criminal attorney, you may be facing enhanced consequences. The following are some of the Nevada statutes that make credit card and debit card fraud illegal:

Penalties For Credit Card Fraud In Las Vegas, NV

The punishment for having or using a credit card is the same, whether the person only had it or if they sold it to someone else. These crimes are taken especially seriously in Nevada and require a skilled Las Vegas credit card fraud attorney with experience handling these types of cases. If you are convicted of a crime related to fraudulently using or obtaining credit/debit card information in Nevada, you could face the following penalties:

For credit card fraud that is prosecuted as a 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 has 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.

State vs Federal Prosecution For Credit Card Fraud Charges

As mentioned above, credit card fraud can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level.

State Crimes 

Fraud cases that go to court usually happen at the state or local level. How a fraud case is dealt with and how severe the punishment varies from state to state. For example, it depends on if the person committing fraud has done it before, how much money was stolen, whether they did it on purpose (instead of accidentally using someone’s credit card information), and if the victim was elderly. Depending on the offense, a felony charge in some states is separated into different categories. These classifications are usually based on each state’s identity theft laws and are noted on this page from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Federal Crimes

It may sound complicated, but credit card fraud becomes a federal crime when it “affects interstate or foreign commerce.” All you need to do is make an online purchase with someone else’s credit card, or use a card issued to someone in another state. Federal penalties for using a “device” to commit fraud (the law defines a credit card as such a device) can include up to 20 years in prison, plus fines and forfeiture of personal assets.

According to the Department of Justice, there are a number of federal crimes that fraudulent credit card use falls under, including computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and financial institution fraud. These penalties can result in up to 30 years in prison.

Defenses To Credit Card Fraud Charges In Nevada

There are various potential defenses that your Las Vegas credit card fraud lawyer can deploy for you when you have been accused of credit card fraud charges in Nevada. Some of the possible defenses to this crime include the following:

  • Mistaken identity: Even if a merchant said you were swiping a stolen credit card, they could be wrong or misremembering. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove that you committed the offense, and if there is doubt, then you shouldn’t be convicted.
  • Lack of evidence: If the prosecutor does not have enough evidence, you cannot be convicted. It is sometimes possible to stop illegally-obtained evidence from being used against you. For example, if the police conducted an unlawful search of your person or home, any consequent gathered evidence should be inadmissible because your constitutional rights were violated by the said act. A legal counsel can help you file a petition to suppress any illegally-acquired evidence.
  • Lack of intent to defraud: If you use someone else’s credit card by mistake or if you make a mistake when entering your information on a credit card application, there is no intent to defraud so you should not be convicted.
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Is Credit Card Fraud A Felony In Nevada?

Most Nevada fraud crimes are category D felonies with little to no exceptions. As a result, most types of credit card fraud charges in Nevada are prosecuted as category D felonies. However, with the help of an experienced Las Vegas credit card fraud attorney, you may be able to get your charges reduced or even dropped completely with the right defense.

How Common Is Credit Card Fraud?

The Federal Trade Commission considers credit card fraud a form of identity theft. According to FTC data, in early 2022 credit card fraud has again become the most commonly reported type of identity theft since 2017, save for the few months in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was an increasing number of fraudulent claims made for unemployment benefits and other relief programs.

Most fraud cases never get reported- the issuer deals with them directly. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gathers statistics on what is reported to them. The Federal Reserve has data that provides us with a look into the true scale of credit card fraud.

Do Police Investigate Credit Card Theft?

After the bank reports credit card theft to the police, an investigation will begin. If you are a victim of this crime, you can also file a police report yourself. Once the necessary evidence has been gathered by law enforcement, they will then alert state and federal agencies.

How Can Credit Card Theft Be Proven?

If the card issuer suspects fraud, they may request a police report or receipts to compare signatures. Card issuers and merchants may also look for “friendly fraud,” which is when a cardholder makes a purchase and then disputes it as fraud—even though it wasn’t.

Contact Our Las Vegas Credit Card Fraud Attorney

If you commit credit card fraud with other charges such as larceny or burglary, the consequences will be more complicated. As an example, if you take a business credit card without permission from your employer and go into a store intending to use the card to buy something, you could be guilty of not only credit card fraud but also burglary.

If you have been wrongfully accused of credit card fraud in Nevada, Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers will work hard to prove your innocence. Our Las Vegas credit card fraud attorney has extensive experience with cases like yours and we will do everything in our power to get the best possible outcome for you. Contact our office today for a risk-consultation and learn more about how we may be able to help.

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