But first, you need to understand the charges against you. According to the Arizona criminal code, there are two ways to be charged with fraudulent use of a credit card:
- Using a fake credit card number. Besides using a fake number, this charge also includes trying to make a purchase with a card number that is expired, cancelled, or revoked. For example, if you make a purchase online with a credit card that you know will be rejected or that you know is no longer valid, you have committed credit card fraud.
- Using someone else’s credit card without permission. If you find a wallet in the street and return it, but not before using one of the credit cards to pay for your lunch, you have committed credit card fraud. Also, any time you use a credit card without asking because you “know” the person won’t mind, you have committed credit card fraud.
In Arizona, the amount of the purchase determines the degree of the charge (the following sentences apply to first time offenders only):
- Under $250: Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence of up to six months.
- $250-$1000: Class 6 felony that carries a jail sentence of up to one year.
- Over $1000: Class 5 felony that carries a jail sentence of up to one and a half years.
If you or someone you know has been wrongfully charged with credit card fraud in Phoenix, hiring an attorney can help. Look for a defense attorney that can help explain your charges and who has a proven record of success in these types of cases. The more credible the lawyer you have fighting for you, the more likely your case will have a positive outcome.