“Theft” is the generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally takes the personal property of another without their explicit permission or consent. Taking cash from someone’s wallet without their consent is stealing, just as using someone’s credit card or credit card number without their permission is equally unlawful. Credit card theft is a serious crime in Virginia. It’s considered a white collar crime, but still carries potentially serious and life changing penalties just like any other unlawful act.
Purchasing goods or services on a lost or stolen credit card is illegal in Virginia, as is faking credit card information as well. This includes intercepting someone’s mail and taking a credit card, using someone else’s information to sign up for a card, and more. Charges for this type of crime can result in a few days in a local correctional facility to a maximum of decades in a federal prison. Without the help of a qualified Virginia credit card theft attorney, you run the risk of receiving the most severe penalty possible.
How Is Credit Card Theft Classified In Virginia?
As previously mentioned, there are many different ways an individual can commit credit card theft. A person can be found guilty of credit card theft when:
- They obtain or withhold a credit card or credit card number from someone without the cardholder’s consent, with intent to use, sell, or transfer to the card to another person other than the issuer or cardholder
- They receive a credit card or credit card number that they know has been lost, solen, or delivered under a mistake, and keeps the card into their possession to use, sell, or transfer
- They sell a credit card or credit card number
- They, during any twelve month period, received credit cards or credit card numbers which they have reason to know were taken or retained under unlawful circumstances.
Petit larceny (petty theft) is the lowest level of larceny according to Virginia state law. Petit larceny is the theft of cash, property, or services valued at less than $200, or the theft of property valued at less than $5 when stolen directly from another person. Under Virginia state law, however, credit card or credit card number theft is often considered grand larceny and is punishable as such.
What Are The Penalties For Credit Card Theft In Virginia?
Under Virginia state law, if the credit card thief did not spend more than $200 within six months, the crime will be considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, of which the penalties are less severe than a grand felony. However, if the sum of the expenses on the stolen card surpass $200 within six months, the crime will then be considered a Class 6 felony, which carries serious penalties.
Additionally, there are other possible punishments for this type of white collar crime. An individual convicted of credit card fraud could spend up to twenty years imprisoned in a state correctional facility if the crime is considered serious enough. There may also be additional fines imposed on top of the incarceration. These fines could total up to $2500.
As with any crime, your criminal history and the mitigating circumstances surrounding the crime will all play a role in determining your prospective penalty. For example, if you assaulted someone or robbed them to steal their credit card, you will obviously face more serious penalties. If you breached an individual’s security online, your penalties may be more severe as well. Also, if a defendant is convicted for any larceny crime in Virginia and has a previous larceny conviction – even in another state – the penalty is thirty days to 12 months in jail, along with fines and other possible penalties on top.
Every credit card theft crime occurs differently. There is no way to predict the precise outcome of a case without assessing your situation with the help of a criminal defense lawyer, so it’s crucial that you contact a credit card theft attorney as soon as possible.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Scott C. Nolan
If you’ve been accused of credit card theft in Virginia, it’s understandable that you might be nervous or unsure of what’s to come. You need the help of a strong, hardworking attorney to help minimize your penalties as much as possible.
Scott C. Nolan, a trusted Virginia criminal defense attorney, has years of experience defending clients in situations just like yours. In your free consultation, you can expect to go over the initial details of the credit card theft as well as the typical penalties you may be facing.
Call Scott C. Nolan for a free initial credit card case evaluation today.