Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Colorado
Being involved in credit card fraud is never something a person wants to go through. It not only can ruin a person’s credit but also lead to serious financial consequences. In general, credit card fraud includes illegally obtaining someone else’s information, using one’s own card knowing that it is either revoked or lacks the necessary amount of money to cover the charges made on it, or knowingly using an illegally obtained card without authorization to sell something to someone else. Because credit card fraud involves using another person’s information to commit a crime, it is considered a form of identity theft.
Colorado is one such state that includes credit card fraud within its identity theft statutes. Under Colorado law, credit fraud involves being in possession of a financial device for criminal purposes. Financial devices are considered items such as credit cards, debit cards, checks, or money orders that a criminal can use to either acquire cash from the person’s account or make illegal purchases using that person’s name and credit. If you have working knowledge that the financial device you are in possession of is possibly stolen or not under your authorization to use, then you are at risk of being charged with credit card fraud. For example, if someone finds a lost credit card and uses it to make unauthorized transactions, they are guilty of credit card fraud.
Colorado’s criminal code 18-5-903 outlines the different categories for illegally having a financial device:
“(a) criminal possession of one financial device is a class 1 misdemeanor, (b) criminal possession of two or more financial devices is a class 6 felony, and (c) criminal possession of four or more financial devices, of which at least two are issued to different account holders, is a class 5 felony.”
If you are found guilty of being in possession of these financial devices for unlawful purposes, you could be facing anywhere from six months to three years in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $100,000, along with the possible restitution fees owed to the victim.
Because of the complex nature of credit card fraud charges and the seriousness of the penalties that accompany them, it is important to have legal counsel there to help you. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. is ready to assist you during these times, so give us a call today and find out what we can do to make sure you are receiving the proper defense you deserve. Contact a theft defense lawyer at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. today at (719) 475-2555.