Defense Attorney for Credit Card Charges
Various felony and misdemeanor charges involve credit card-related offenses. Although prison is a possibility, it is not mandatory.
Credit Card Crimes in Michigan
Police and prosecutors have several tools at their disposal when charging an individual with a credit card charge offense. Banks and credit card companies yield significant lobbying power, so state and federal criminal laws tend to be subject to harsh sentences. Although a sentencing judge can order years of prison and probation, a knowledgeable and persuasive defense attorney can help individuals avoid a severe sentence for credit card charges in Michigan.
Michigan law broadly defines what constitutes a “credit card.” They are more broadly termed “financial transaction devices.” Financial transaction devices include debit cards, rebate cards, gift cards, account numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), and electronic funds transfers.
Types of Credit Card Charges in Michigan
- Stealing, Taking, or Removing a Financial Transaction Device without Consent – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Possession of Fraudulent or Altered Financial Transaction Device – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Fraudulent Use of Financial Transaction Device to Withdraw or Transfer Funds in Exceeding Contractual Limitations.
- Under $200 – 93 Day Misdemeanor
- Between $200 and $1,000 – One Year Misdemeanor
- Between $1,000 and $20,000 – Five (5) Year Felony
- Over $20,000 – 10 Year Felony
- Possession of Another’s Financial Transaction Device with Intent to Use, Deliver, Circulate, or Sell – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Delivery, Circulation, or Sale of Wrongly Held or Obtained Financial Transaction Device – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Forgery, Alteration, Simulation, or Counterfeiting of Financial Transaction Device – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Use of Revoked or Cancelled Financial Transaction Device with Intent to Defraud – One Year Misdemeanor.
- Knowing Sale or Service Provided to a Person Illegally Using a Financial Transaction Device – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Causing a Credit Card Owner to be Charged or Overcharged – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- False Statement of Identity to Procure a Financial Transaction Device – Up to four (4) years in prison.
- Identity Theft – 1st Offense up to five (5) years; 2nd Offense up to 15 years in prison.
Collateral Consequences of Credit Card Convictions in Michigan
Jail, prison, and years of probation are potential direct consequences of credit card charges in Michigan. For some, the indirect or collateral consequences are worse. A conviction can mean suspension or revocation of a professional license for doctors, lawyers, nurses, or other professionals. Students hoping to enter a career might find themselves unable to obtain a professional license or secure a job in a high-paying field.
In addition to employment and licensing issues, credit card charges in Michigan can also result in the loss of firearm rights and the ability to vote or hold public office. In a divorce or custody battle, a criminal conviction can influence the judge when considering the division of assets or the custody of children. Any conviction for fraud will also damage a person’s credibility in general and as a prospective witness. Many student loans are not available to felons.
Immigration Consequences of a Fraud Conviction
Fraud convictions have two potential immigration consequences. First, they could constitute an aggravated felony conviction if a sentence of a year or more is imposed or the victim’s loss exceeds $10,000. The second potential immigration issue is that fraud convictions can constitute a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude (“CMT”). A criminal defendant with a strong defense attorney can often avoid an aggravated felony or CMT conviction.
A savvy, experienced defense attorney can potentially prevent an aggravated felony conviction for credit card charges in Michigan with any of the following strategies:
- Avoid a sentence imposed of one year or more on any single count. Although not desirable, accepting more than one year of actual custody is possible while avoiding a one-year sentence for immigration purposes.
- To avoid an aggravated felony for an offense that involves fraud or deceit, the defense lawyer will fight to prevent a conviction of a single offense where the victim’s loss exceeds $10,000.
- In a situation where a sentence of a year or more, or a loss exceeding $10,000, is unavoidable, defense counsel might be able to avoid an aggravated felony conviction through plea bargaining for an offense with elements that do not trigger immigration consequences.
Every Case is Defensible
Every state and federal credit card case is different. Assistant United States Attorneys and county prosecutors have to handle cases with varying strengths of evidence. In cases where the evidence is strong, a skilled defense lawyer can limit their client’s consequences by negotiating with the prosecutor for a favorable plea bargain or with the judge for a reduced or lenient sentence.
Because the trial lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience and a reputation for being highly effective, we can often obtain results unachievable by other lawyers. Our team of attorneys and paralegals will comb through the evidence to find every weakness or technicality we can use to turn the tables on the government and enhance the defense’s bargaining power. If there is a way to attain an extraordinary result, we will find it.
Defense Attorney for Credit Card Charges in Michigan
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has extensive knowledge of credit card offenses and potential defenses. Our background, know-how, and reputation enable us to negotiate an exceptional resolution or, if necessary, fight for an outright acquittal at trial. If a dismissal is possible, our team will stop at nothing to get felony or misdemeanor charges thrown out of court.
Call us for a free consultation. Our reasonable and affordable defense attorneys will take the time to discuss your situation and learn all the essential information about the allegations against you. We will patiently answer your questions and address each of your concerns. Together, we will craft a winning strategy to protect and defend you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.