Credit Card Fraud in Arizona
With the rapid advancement of technology, we have become a culture that uses credit cards for a plethora of daily transactions. Because we’re using our credit cards so frequently, and often casually, many of us have experienced credit card fraud or theft at some point in time. According to one online source, credit card fraud is at a 20-year high! And at Coolidge Law Firm, serving Metro-Phoenix, we know that credit card fraud in Arizona is an increasing problem.
Who conducts credit card fraud investigations?
Unfortunately, the same technology that has given us tremendous societal advances can also be used for nefarious purposes to “skim” credit card information from ATMs. While the average response of the victim of credit card fraud is simply to cancel the card and get a new one, banks, on the other hand, are the ones who initiate an investigation into the source of the fraud. These days, many banks have systems in place that alert bank employees when there is an uncharacteristic charge on an account.
Whether it’s the bank that realizes the discrepancy first or the cardholder, after the cardholder has confirmed a disputed charge, the bank opens a credit card fraud investigation. Bank employees who are responsible for investigating credit card fraud will first determine if the charge is merely disputed, or if, in fact, it looks like fraud. If fraud is suspected, local law enforcement will most often take the reins from that point on.
What are the penalties for credit card fraud in Arizona?
Much like other financial crimes, the penalties for credit card fraud are wide-ranging and depend on the value of the charges made or the amount of money stolen. Credit card theft and obtaining a credit card by fraudulent means also fall under the Arizona credit card fraud laws.
If convicted of credit card fraud, a first-time offender can face a class five felony, which holds a presumptive term of 2 years in prison. The maximum punishment an individual may face is 2.5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised probation, and $150,000 in fines and surcharges.
Credit Card Fraud Lawyer Arizona
Todd Coolidge has been practicing criminal law in Arizona for three decades. In that time he’s handled cases of every kind, including credit card fraud. If you’ve been convicted of credit card fraud in Arizona, your best defense is hiring an experienced attorney who can seek a reduction in charges. Todd Coolidge has been extremely successful in getting clients’ cases thrown out or charges reduced. Call today and schedule your free case review.