Individuals charged with credit card fraud in Ocean County, New Jersey will be subject to the state's strict laws and harsh penalties for these types of offenses. Credit card fraud occurs anytime a credit card is used unlawfully to obtain something of value. There are many ways to commit an offense with a credit card, and each has the potential to change your life forever. With a strong legal defense, and the right lawyer, you can protect your constitutional rights.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a credit card fraud in Ocean County, New Jersey, experienced defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help.
Ocean County Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney
With nearly two decades of experience working in various roles in the criminal justice system, Joseph Lento is a qualified Ocean County criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of how a New Jersey criminal case operates from start to finish, and beyond.
If you have been charged with credit card fraud in Ocean County, New Jersey and need a comprehensive, customized defense, contact the attorneys at Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento built his practice on the ideals of customer service and justice and he will fight for your rights and freedom. Call (888) 535-3686 today to schedule your consultation and discover what Joseph Lento can do to clear your name.
Ocean County Court Process
If arrested in Ocean County for a crime, your case will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the applicable Municipal Court. There are 35 Municipal Courts in all of Ocean County. If the case proceeds past the preliminary hearing, the case will be scheduled for a formal arraignment at the Court of Common Pleas located at
118 Washington St.
Toms River, NJ 08754
The criminal process will continue from that point forward often either resulting in the case proceeding to trial or being resolved through non-trial disposition through dismissal or plea.
Credit Card Fraud: Overview
Credit card fraud can occur in a wide variety of ways. There are many separate offenses that fall under the broad umbrella of "credit card fraud" offenses. These offenses can range from misdemeanors to very serious felonies, depending on the offender's conduct and the amount of money involved. Some of the more common credit card fraud offenses are described below:
Illegally Acquiring a New Credit Card
One common type of credit card fraud is when someone applies for a credit card using another person's identity or on behalf of an organization. The credit card application is then submitted to the company without the knowledge of the victim. If the card is issued and the offender is able to obtain the card, they can then use it for their own benefit. This is currently a fourth-degree criminal offense.
Someone may obtain possession of an existing credit card without the knowledge of the cardholder. The cardholder may accidentally leave the card somewhere or may lose their wallet. Someone may seek to sell the card to another party as well. These are all fourth-degree criminal offenses.
Making a Credit Card
An individual may illegally create a credit card. They may emboss a card with another person's account number and cardholder name. This typically involves “falsely making” a credit card using some device or instrument that makes it appear as if the card was created by a legitimate issuer. These acts all involve a clear intent to defraud and may involve cards that are “forged, expired, or revoked.” All of these types of offenses are charged as third-degree criminal offenses.
Illegal Use of Scanning Devices and Re-encoders
A payment card is defined as any credit card, charge card, or debit card that is accepted by a merchant for purchasing goods or services. A scanning device is defined as a “scanner, skimmer, or reader” that is used to “access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store” any data that is encoded within the strip of a payment card. A re-encoder is some electronic tool that is capable of transferring the encoded data stored on one payment card to another.
It is a third-degree offense to intentionally commit a fraudulent act that victimizes an authorized user, a merchant, or the issuer of a payment card by the following actions:
- Using a scanning device to access and store the encoded data within a payment card without obtaining permission to do so from the cardholder
- To use a re-encoder to transfer encoded data from a payment card to another card or medium without obtaining the permission to do so from the cardholder
- It is a fourth-degree offense to possess any device, equipment, or other related apparatus when there is intent to commit such fraudulent activity
Forgery-Related Offenses (2C:21-18)
New Jersey implemented the Casino Control Act in 1977. The provisions prohibit inserting or depositing a “slug, key, tool, instrument, explosive device” into a machine that is activated with coins, currency, or credit cards in order to commit fraud. A slug is defined as some type of article that is used to illegally mimic a coin, currency, or credit card.
With the advances in technology, many machines require the use of a "card" in order to operate them. Falsely creating or using a card in order to commit a crime is considered a type of forgery related offense.
Defenses to Credit Card Fraud Charges
When facing a credit card fraud charge in New Jersey, it is important to put up a strong legal defense to protect your rights, such as:
- Demonstrate that not all elements of the offense are proven
- Show you were the lawful owner of the credit card
- Create reasonable doubt to the jury in a criminal trial
- File a suppression motion to exclude unconstitutionally collected evidence
- Prove the amount unlawfully "taken" does not meet the higher penalty thresholds
A strong legal defense can protect your constitutional rights, and your freedom.
Working with an Ocean County Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of credit card fraud in the Ocean County area, it is highly recommended that you begin defending your rights and your future with as soon as possible. Joseph Lento is passionate about helping charges like yours through the system and making sure justice is served on all sides.
For your consultation on how Joseph Lento and the team at Lento Law Firm can help you, call (888) 535-3686 today.