Florida Credit Card Fraud Laws

Credit card crimes include the buying or selling of stolen or forged credit cards, the unauthorized use of an expired credit card or another person's credit card, and the counterfeiting or altering of credit cards. Florida state laws define "credit card" to include ATM cards, banking cards, check cards, credit cards, debit cards, and other types of cards related to financial transactions.

The State Credit Card Crime Act ("the Act") sets criminal penalties for offenses related to credit card fraud. The Act penalizes many credit card offenses as misdemeanors. However, Florida state laws also allow for the prosecution of credit card fraud outside of the Act through other criminal statutes, which might impose more severe penalties.

Florida state laws bar the unauthorized use of a credit card issued to another person. The prosecutor must show that the defendant intentionally used a forged or stolen credit card to obtain money or to pay for goods and services. The defendant must have known that the card was forged, stolen, or unlawfully obtained, and represented himself as the card holder.

Florida Credit Card Fraud Laws at a Glance

Statute

Florida Statutes Title XLVI. ยง 817.57 et seq.

Offenses Under the State Credit Card Crime Act
  • Theft by taking or retaining possession of card taken.
  • Theft of credit card lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake.
  • Purchase or sale of credit card of another.
  • Obtaining control of credit card as security for debt.
  • Dealing in credit cards of another.
  • Forgery of credit card.
  • Signing credit card of another.
  • Unlawful possession of a stolen credit or debit card.
  • Unauthorized use of an expired credit card
  • Counterfeiting or altering of credit cards
Crime Classifications
  • 1st degree misdemeanor for two offenses committed in a six-month period or for an offense during which the value obtained was less than $100.
  • 3rd degree felony if the defendant engaged in three or more acts of fraudulent use within a six-month period or if the defendant obtained goods, services, or money valued over $100.
Sentences and Penalties
  • 1st degree misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • 3rd degree felony: Up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

If the prosecutor has charged the defendant with a felony, the state may also consider the defendant's criminal record and previous felony convictions when determining the penalty and sentence.

Defenses to Credit Card Fraud Charges
  • No intent to commit fraud or otherwise engage in unlawful activities
  • Authorization given by the credit card holder

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Florida criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

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