Credit Card Fraud
Florida statute section 817.481 is Florida's credit card fraud statute; it makes it a crime to obtain goods by use of a false or expired credit card. Credit card fraud can also be prosecuted under Florida's theft statute which is section 812, robbery and related crimes. Prosecution under federal criminal statutes for credit card theft is also prosecuted under federal wire fraud statutes. Florida's statute makes it a felony for any person, with knowledge, to use credit, obtain credit or attempt to obtain credit or to purchase any goods or services by use of a false, counterfeit, expired, or fictitious credit card. The penalties for fraudulent use of credit cards can range from five years to 30 years. If you are charged with credit card fraud, or a theft count, in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, pr West Palm Beach, the prosecutor will seek the penalties based on the dollar amount involved in the alleged transaction. Transactions $100,000 or more are first-degree felonies punishable by 30 years in prison. At the very least you face a five-year felony term for fraudulent use of a credit card if you are charged under the theft statute. Credit card fraud can also fall under the identity theft statutes. Identity theft is the attempted, or actual, use of an identifier of another individual for the purpose of obtaining or attempting to obtain anything of value, money, or services. In Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and other South Florida jurisdictions, the state attorney's office, the prosecutor, has created a special task force of prosecutors to arrest and convict those charged with identity theft crimes. There are a range of defenses available to those charged with credit card fraud, the most common defenses lack of knowledge or lack of intent. In credit card fraud prosecutions in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the prosecutor names the credit card company as the victim. In identity theft cases the victim can be both the person whose identity is used, or the victim can be the transaction agent: either a credit card company, or the individual who extends credit or transfers something of value. In Florida, if you are arrested and charged with credit card or identity theft he could face up to 15 years in Florida prison on your first conviction.
The fraudulent use of a person's identity or credit card can also be prosecuted under the RICO statutes. RICO stands for racketeering influenced corrupt organization statutes. The RICO statutes were originally introduced in U.S. federal criminal statutes to obtain convictions against organized crime. RICO statutes have been used repeatedly in state and federal prosecutions against individuals. Prosecution for credit card fraud or identity fraud under the RICO statutes requires only that the state introduce evidence of the series of more than two criminal undertakings. In Miami and Fort Lauderdale the federal U.S. attorney prosecutor's office has used wire fraud statutes to prosecute individuals who obtain cash or goods to the use of debit accounts or ATM machines. Credit card fraud and identity theft prosecutions in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach, are increasingly using different criminal laws and criminal prosecution theories by which to obtain convictions. The basic understanding of these crimes starts with reading the Florida jury instructions for the charges of theft, and fraud. Read the Florida Jury Instructions for Criminal cases sections 17 for Forgery and Worthless Checks, section 14, which covers Theft crimes and dealing in stolen property crimes in Florida, section 20 which covers charges for Fraud and section 26 which covers RICO and racketeering prosecutions for theft and fraud charges in Florida. You should also read the federal jury instructions for criminal cases in the southern district of Florida. All the jury instructions can be obtained easily by a search on the Internet.