If you face charges of credit card fraud in Salem County, New Jersey, you need a strong criminal defense to protect your rights. Credit card fraud cases can carry very harsh penalties, including high fines, long prison sentences, and loss of certain constitutional rights. These offenses occur anytime a credit card is used to unlawfully take something of value, or through a fraud in obtaining the card. With an experienced lawyer at your side, you can protect your rights and your freedom.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a credit card fraud in Salem County, New Jersey, experienced defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help.
Salem 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 Salem 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.
Salem County Court Process
If arrested in Salem County for a crime, your case will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the applicable Municipal Court. There are 14 Municipal Courts in all of Salem 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
92 Market Street
Salem, NJ 08079
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.
Understanding Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud can happen in many different ways. Many separate offenses exist that fall into the category of "credit card fraud" offenses. They can be misdemeanors all the way up to very serious felonies. The level of the offense depends greatly on the offender's conduct and the amount of money allegedly taken. Some of the more common credit card fraud offenses are described below:
Forging a Credit Card
An offender can be charged with illegally creating a credit card. This is often performed by the offender embossing a card with another individual's cardholder name and account number. This process usually involves “falsely making” a credit card through the use of an instrument or device that creates the impression in others that the card was created by a legitimate credit card company.
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.
Scanning Devices and Re-encoders
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. 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.
An individual who intentionally commits a fraudulent act that victimizes an authorized user, a merchant, or the issuer of a payment card by the following actions is guilty of a third-degree offense:
- Use of a scanning device to store and access any encoded information in a payment card without first gaining permission to do so from the owner of the card
- Use of a re-encoder to transfer encoded information from a payment card to some other card or device without first getting permission to do so from the owner of the card
- If an offender were to possess any device, equipment, or other related object when there is intent to commit such fraudulent activity, it is a fourth-degree offense
Fraudulent Acquisition of a New Credit Card
Another typical form of credit card fraud is when a person applies for a credit card using another's identity or on behalf of an organization (such as a company). The victim is unaware of the credit card application is his or her name. If the card is issued and the offender obtains the card, he or she could also use it for their own benefit. This is a fourth-degree criminal offense under New Jersey law.
An offender may also obtain possession of an existing credit card without the cardholder's knowledge. This could occur through fraud, picking up a lost credit card, or by theft. When acquisition of a credit card is done in this way, these are all fourth-degree criminal offenses.
Credit Card Fraud Defenses
If you are charged with a credit card fraud charge in New Jersey, it is crucial that you put up a powerful legal defense to protect your rights, such as:
- File a suppression motion to exclude unconstitutionally collected evidence
- Show you were the lawful owner of the credit card
- Create reasonable doubt to the jury in a criminal trial
- Demonstrate that not all elements of the offense are proven
- Prove the amount unlawfully "taken" does not meet the higher penalty thresholds
With the help of a highly experienced New Jersey defense attorney at your side, you can protect your constitutional rights.
Working with a Salem County Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of credit card fraud in the Salem 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 D. Lento and the team at Lento Law Firm can help you, call (888) 535-3686 today.