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Everything You Need to Know about Credit Card Fraud Illinois

What Is Credit Card Fraud in Illinois?

Many people are familiar with white-collar crimes. They refer to non-violent financial crimes to obtain or conceal money. Individuals, businesses, or governments typically perform these crimes. One of the most popular types is credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud occurs when a person illegally uses another individual’s credit or debit card information to make unauthorized purchases, withdraw cash, or obtain personal information. It can happen in many different ways, such as stealing a credit card, obtaining the victim’s personal information, or using advanced technology to obtain sensitive information from credit cards.

Illinois enforces stringent penalties on individuals found guilty of committing credit card fraud. Credit card fraud offenses have been upgraded from misdemeanors to felonies by the legislation. This felony includes credit card fraud, account number misuse, and credit card fraud in Illinois.

People charged with credit card fraud might face two to five years in jail, fines, and restitution.

This guide examines credit card fraud and how it might be committed. If you’re charged with credit card fraud, seek an experienced attorney first. The Hirsch Law Group can help you navigate complex criminal charges. White-collar crime charges are serious, so take them carefully.

Illinois Credit Card Fraud Laws

Credit card fraud can be pursued by both state and federal authorities. Credit card fraud is a federal offense when it affects interstate or foreign commerce. For instance, using someone else’s credit card to buy anything online in a different state could be a federal offense.

Federal credit card fraud laws include:

The Illinois Compiled Statutes classify Credit and Debit Card Fraud as general Deception offenses (720 ILCS 5/Art. 17, Subdivision 25). Additionally, it includes the Illinois Credit Card and Debit Card Act. These statutory sections define virtually every type of fraudulent credit card and debit card case. The 2017 Illinois Senate Bill 2134 increased penalties for offenders who purchase firearms and other items using fraudulent bank cards.

What Constitutes Credit Card Fraud in Illinois?

Under Illinois credit card fraud laws, the following situations could constitute credit card fraud:

  • Using another person’s credit card or debit card without permission

  • Selling or transferring another’s credit card to a third party without the cardholder’s consent

  • Unauthorized use of another person’s credit or debit cards for financial transactions

  • Obtaining credit and debit cards under false pretenses

  • Using an expired, revoked, or fake credit card

  • Reimbursing credit card balances with counterfeit checks, money orders, or other fraudulent documents

Opening a credit card account with the name of another person is also illegal. As is using misplaced credit cards or altering a card with the intent to defraud the card issuer. In some instances, engaging in these activities may also comprise identity theft.

Illinois Credit Card Fraud Penalties

Illinois credit card fraud laws carry severe sanctions for suspects. The offense, property stolen, and the number of transactions determine penalties. The number of victims and prior fraud convictions are also considered.

Credit and debit card fraud is usually a Class 4 felony in Illinois. Class 4 felony is the lowest kind of felony. However, the case may be elevated to a Class 3 felony if the value obtained exceeds $300 in six months. It is a Class A misdemeanor if less than $150 worth of property is acquired in six months.

Furthermore, credit card fraudsters might face civil lawsuits and criminal penalties. Such charges may result in damages, court costs, and attorney fees.

The following are the penalties for credit card fraud under the law in Illinois:

Class 4 Felony

Under the credit card laws of Illinois, the following are possible punishments for a Class 4 felony:

  • Jail time of 1-3 years

  • Restitution or fine of $25,000 per offense

  • Probation

  • Criminal record

These consequences can be time-consuming and expensive. They may affect your ability to seek employment. Plus, potential probation violations can lead to prison.

Class A Misdemeanors

A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by the following:

  • Imprisonment of less than one year

  • Probation or conditional discharge of up to two years

  • A fine of up to $2,500 per offense, restitution, or a combination of those penalties

Class 3 and Class 2 Felony

Class 3 felonies carry a $150,000 fine and a two-to-five-year sentence. Class 2 offenses include three-to-seven-year prison sentences and penalties of up to $200,000.

These harsh sanctions will affect the defendant’s freedom and finances.

What Should You Do If You Are Accused of Credit Card Fraud?

If you are facing credit or debit card fraud charges, it is advisable to remain silent. Instead of speaking to the police, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Chicago as soon as possible.

The laws of Chicago do not require that you communicate with police or investigators without your attorney present. This is important even if you feel you are not guilty of any credit card fraud crimes.

By staying silent, you ensure the police do not misinterpret your words and use them against you later. Once your attorney arrives, they will work with you to protect your rights during interrogation.

The lawyer will also be there when the judge reads your formal accusations at your arraignment. Your lawyer will help you understand your case while constructing your defense.

What Are Possible Defenses Against Credit Card Fraud Charges in Chicago?

Before a court can find you guilty, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed credit or debit card fraud. They must show evidence that you used, possessed, or sold someone else’s credit card with the intent to defraud.

There are several defense strategies your lawyer could employ. Below are a few of the most common.

Lack of Intent to Defraud

Your defense could argue that you were unaware that the card was stolen and did not intend to use it fraudulently. Lack of intent to defraud is typically successful when handled well. However, it will require an extensive investigation into the act’s circumstances.

Mistaken Identity

Another common defense against credit card fraud charges is mistaken identity. Due to the rarity of eyewitnesses in these cases, it may be difficult to prove.

Suppression of Evidence

Depending on the specifics of your cases, Fourth Amendment challenges may be necessary. The government frequently seizes evidence of credit card fraud from your residence or business. Suppose the proper procedure was not followed or probable cause was lacking. An experienced federal criminal defense lawyer can make a case for suppressing the evidence.

In this digital age, credit card fraud frequently occurs online. Viruses and hackers can lead to fraudulent accusations against innocent people. Someone skilled in I.T. law could successfully contest such evidence.

Call the Hirsch Law Group to Fight Your Charges

Credit card fraud can result in serious penalties and a permanent criminal record. Attorneys from the Hirsch Law Group will fight to defend your credit card fraud allegations in Chicago and the surrounding areas.

Our criminal defense lawyer has decades of experience and a good grasp of the law. Our devotion, professionalism, and skill will maximize your chances of success. For a free consultation, contact us now.