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Is Credit Card Fraud a Federal Offense?

Credit card fraud penalties vary, depending on the circumstances and severity of the alleged offense. You may be wondering if you need a federal criminal defense lawyer for your case.

If you are accused of interstate credit card fraud, federal prosecutors may charge you. A conviction could result in a prison sentence. So is credit card fraud a federal offense? Let’s find out.

Credit Card Fraud Penalties 

The severity of the penalties varies, depending on a number of factors, including any prior criminal history. In some states, a felony conviction is the result of the gravity of the offense. These offenses are typically classified in accordance with the state’s identity theft statutes.

Federal Credit Card Fraud Laws

The use of counterfeit credit cards is prohibited by the U.S. government. This includes:

  • Carrying or attempting to carry a fake, lost, stolen, or counterfeit credit card without permission
  • Unauthorized use of a transportation service to transport a counterfeit credit card

Fighting Federal Credit Card Fraud Charges

If you are accused of committing an illegal act listed in U.S.C. 1029 without the intent to deceive, you may be able to avoid a conviction. For example, you may have received a gift card that was fraudulently obtained. In order to get a conviction, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you acted intentionally.

To be convicted of federal credit card fraud, the fraudulent activity must involve interstate or foreign commerce. For example, you may have been charged for an online purchase made with someone else’s credit card. However, if the transaction did not cross state lines, it is typically not considered a federal offense.

Defense Against Credit Card Fraud Charges

It is essential to demonstrate that, for instance, the defendant used their roommate’s credit card unknowingly if they both use the same bank and the cards were similar. In this case, it is impossible to prove that the defendant intentionally used a card that wasn’t theirs.

Credit card fraud is illegal and can have serious consequences for your life. If you have been accused of credit card fraud, contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible to begin preparing your defense.

Get a Criminal Defense Attorney

Whether you have been accused of a federal or state felony, the consequences can be severe. Prison time can be damaging to your relationships, and high fines and fees can put your finances in jeopardy, not to mention the consequences that may occur long after you have completed a sentence.

A criminal defense attorney can defend you. In federal trials, prosecutors may take months to gather evidence, but you still don’t want to waste time. Still asking “Is credit card fraud a federal offense?” or if it’s a common federal crime? Act now and call Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. at 214-665-6930 for more information.


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