Have you Been Charged with Financial Transaction Card Fraud in Georgia?
While paying with cash was the norm for decades, consumers are now using credit and debit cards for the majority of transactions. Because of the prevalence of credit card payments, credit card and debit card fraud is on the rise. If you or a loved one has been charged with financial transaction card fraud, you need assistance from one of our Georgia Fraud Attorneys. The Office of Lawson and Berry has extensive experience in Georgia Fraud laws and are ready to assist with your case.
O.C.G.A. §16-9-33 Outlines the Crime of Financial Transaction Card Fraud
A person commits financial transaction card fraud when a person:
- Knowingly uses a credit or debit card without permission with the intent to defraud.
- Obtains an account number that either doesn't exist
- Acquires a card that was lost, stolen, forged, revoked, or expired through fraudulent means
Business owners and employees can also be guilty of financial transaction card fraud when they knowingly accept a fraudulent credit or debit card. Also, if they falsify a credit card receipt, they will be guilty of financial transaction card fraud.
Georgia Case Law
A Court convicted defendant of financial transaction card fraud when she was writing checks to herself and other's from her employer's business account and obtained new credit cards in the name of the business for her own use. The evidence showed that defendant made numerous checks out to herself without her employer's permission. Furthermore, she began opening business credit card accounts using an alias and using them for her own personal use. Therefore, the Court found there was sufficient evidence to find her guilty of financial transaction card fraud. Jordan v. State, 242 Ga. Ap. 547, (2000).
What Has to Be Proven to Be Convicted
To be convicted of financial transaction card fraud, the State must show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This involves demonstrating that the defendant had the intent to use, sell, or forge credit card information. Our Georgia Fraud Lawyers can help create gaps in the arguments of the prosecution and help you obtain a favorable outcome.
Penalty for Financial Transaction Card Fraud in Georgia
If the value of the money, goods, services or other things is less than $100.00 in a six-month period, then the financial transaction card fraud punishment will be a fine of no more than $1,000.00 or a prison term between one and two years, or both.
However, a person convicted of financial transaction card fraud for more than $100.00 in a six-month period in Georgia will be charged with a felony. The consequences include a fine up to $5,000.00 and a prison term between one and five years, or both.
Felony charges extend beyond just a fine and prison. They stay on your record and can cause you to be denied employment, credit, or housing. That is why it is vital to retain a Georgia Fraud Lawyer. Felony convictions can have detrimental consequences on your everyday life so hire one of our Fraud Attorneys today.
Consent. If the defendant had permission to use the cards from the owner, that would be a sufficient defense.
Lack of Intent to Defraud: Without a showing that the accused knowingly and intended to defraud the victim, then they would not be guilty of a crime.
This is not an all-encompassing list of defenses that could be used for your case. Our Georgia Fraud Attorneys will tailor a defense specifically for your case.
What Does Not Constitute a Defense
The card was unused. A showing that the defendant used the card is not necessary to show a wrongful withholding. Obtaining a card by fraudulent means will be sufficient to be convicted.
There was no monetary loss: The Court has found that the fraud does not have to result in a loss of money to the victim. A victim providing valuable services would be sufficient to constitute a loss. For instance, in the case of Hale v. State, a hotel was able to recover because while they didn't suffer a monetary loss, they provided valuable services to the victim. 214 Ga. App. 899, (1994).
Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Fraud Lawyers can help if you or a loved one has been charged with financial transaction card fraud. Remember, a charge is not the same as a conviction, so it is vital to your case to get a lawyer that is knowledgeable in the field of fraud. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.