Use of a credit card with intent to defraud is a serious crime in Mississippi. If you’ve been charged with this offense in Southaven, Olive Branch, or Horn Lake, talk to a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer right away.
This law states that: “It is unlawful for any person, with intent to defraud the cardholder, the issuer, a person or organization providing money, goods, property, services or anything else of value, or any other person, (a) to use a credit card or credit card number obtained or retained (by theft or fraud), or a credit card which he knows is forged, for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, property, services or anything else of value, or (b) to obtain money, goods, property, services or anything else of value (i) by representing without the consent of the cardholder that he is the holder of a specified card, or (ii) by representing that he is the holder of a card when he has reason to know that such card has not in fact been issued, or (iii) by representing that he has been authorized to use the credit card or credit card number.” It is also a crime to use a stolen credit card to get cash at an ATM.
Fraudulent credit card use is essentially theft. For a first-time offender charged with obtaining less than $100 in cash, property, or services, the punishment is a fine of up to $1000, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both. That’s a pretty big penalty for less than $100. In North Mississippi, you should contact an Olive Branch fraud defense lawyer for representation. There may be ways to avoid jail time, and you may be able to have the charge cleared from your record later.
For second offense under $100 the penalty is a felony with a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment up to three years. This is also the case where the value is over $100, even for first offenses. As you can see, then, credit card fraud is taken very seriously by Mississippi courts.
If you claim that you did not use the card fraudulently (you were acting with the owner’s permission), or that it was not you at all who used it, then that defense will have to be explored. It may require having a trial. If you are going to admit to the charge and ask for leniency from the court, it will help a lot if you can pay restitution. It’s just going to depend on the facts of each case.
If you’ve been charged with this offense, contact Olive Branch fraud defense lawyer Patrick Stegall. Mr. Stegall represents first-time offenders in theft and fraud cases throughout North Mississippi. You could be looking at jail time and a permanent conviction, so having an experienced lawyer on your side is a must. Mr. Stegall can be reached at (901) 205-9894 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.