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Credit Card Crimes

Credit Card Crimes are on the Rise in Florida

We’ve come along way from the days of riding around with stagecoaches full of gold: we’re now in the era of the credit card.  So, naturally, people are being accused of credit card crimes these days.

What Florida Laws Control Credit Card Crimes?

In Florida, credit card crimes are mostly covered in chapter 817 of the Florida Statutes.

Chapter 817 outlaws obtaining credit cards through fraudulent means, using or possessing credit cards fraudulently, and using or possessing the types of equipment commonly used to gather credit card information or create or alter cards.

Florida Statutes section 816.60 prohibits basically every conceivable way that a person can obtain or possess a credit card that does not belong to them.  Most of these violations are misdemeanors or third-degree felonies (such as using or possessing a credit card that’s not yours).

Florida Statutes section 816.611 outlaws trafficking in or possessing counterfeit credit cards.  Trafficking, in this context, means the same thing it means in the drug context: the government is not obligated to prove that a person was selling or distributing anything, but rather the government just has to prove possession of a certain amount in order for it to be “trafficking.”  Under this law, possession of 50 or more counterfeit credit cards, it’s a first-degree felony.  Possession of 49 counterfeit credit cards or fewer is a second-degree felony.

Defenses to Charges of Credit Card Crimes

There are some defenses to these charges, including the occasional double-jeopardy defense.  More commonly the defenses in this case arise from the manner in which law enforcement seized the evidence in the first place.  For example, the police often pull people over in potentially pretextual traffic stops, such as stops for allegedly “following too closely,” in order to develop investigations that sometimes lead to these sorts of charges.  But this all is determined on a case-by-case basis, of course.

In any event, The Weisman Law Firm defends charges related to credit card crimes for people.  The founders had the sense to establish the constitutional principles that we’re all presumed innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on the state to prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that any person accused of a crime is guaranteed effective representation.  If you, a friend, or a loved one has been accused of a crime like this, feel free to contact The Weisman Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation.

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