Detroit Credit Card Theft Lawyer
Credit card theft is a fraud crime closely related to the crime of credit card fraud—although it’s possible to commit one without the other. While the penalties for committing fraud are more severe, stealing a credit card can have serious consequences too.
The law prohibits stealing Financial Transaction Devices (FTD’s) such as credit cards, debit cards, account numbers, PINs, credit or debit card numbers, and even gift cards. If you face charges for FTD theft, you should retain the services of an experienced Michigan criminal attorney as soon as possible.
Stealing or Possessing a Stolen FTD Is a Felony
Section 150.157n of the Michigan Penal Code makes it illegal to steal or to possess the FTD of another person without their permission. This section also prohibits the knowing possession of a fraudulent or altered FTD. Similarly, Michigan Penal Code section 750.157p prohibits the possession of another person’s FTD with the intent to use it, to sell it, or to otherwise distribute it.
You may be charged with a felony for violating either section. The statutes do not specify the exact sentences that a judge should give you in the event of a guilty verdict. But according to a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling, judges are no longer required to strictly follow the sentencing recommendations of the penal code. In general, people convicted of stealing an FTD receive sentences between two and four years.
In addition to your sentence, the court may order you to pay back the victims under Michigan’s laws of criminal restitution. For example, if you steal $500 from someone’s credit account, a court may order you to pay it back.
Fighting Your FTD Theft Charges
When you hire a Detroit credit card theft lawyer to help with your FTD charges, the first thing he or she will do is counsel you on how to answer the questions of law enforcement and prosecutors. The less you sy to them, the better. Anything you say to them can be taken out of context and used as evidence against you at trial.
Next, your attorney will review the evidence against you and determine whether it is possible to object to it on the basis of the rules of evidence. He or she may take depositions of key witnesses—including the arresting officers—as it may emerge that your arrest or the search that produced the evidence against you were conducted unlawfully.
Your lawyer will then attempt to construct a version of events that shows that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you actually stole the FTD. In a possession case, it may be possible to show that you did not possess the other person’s FTD knowingly or with criminal intent.
If there is little prospect of successfully defending against your charges in light of the evidence against you, it may be necessary to consider a plea bargain. In these cases, it helps to have a lawyer with a good reputation and who knows the prosecutors. At the sentencing hearing, it may be possible to obtain a lighter sentence for you if there are mitigating factors applicable to your case.
Detroit credit card theft lawyer Maurice Davis of the Davis Law Group has experience working as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, which gives him a broad perspective on Michigan’s criminal justice system. If you want to learn more about how he can put his skills to work for you, call him today for a free and confidential consultation of your case at .
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