Defending Credit Card Theft Charges
Holiday shopping time has arrived again. The Christmas trees are going up and every other commercial tries to convince you that their product will make the perfect gift for your loved ones. Unfortunately, many individuals fall into the holiday trap by spending money that they don’t have or resorting to theft. Last year, the country experienced a type of theft that affected millions of consumers. Various retail stores reported breaches in their security, which led to the compromise of customer credit card numbers. These situations resulted in millions of dollars in losses for card holders, as well as for the stores. They also prompted federal investigations that may result in serious criminal charges against the accused parties.
According to a report by the website eweek, the Target Christmas breach of last year impacted the card accounts of 70 million customers. Is also cost the retail giant $148 million in expenses. Though this was a widely reported news story, it was not an isolated incident and proved to be the first of many. Over the last year, retailers like Staples and Michaels also experienced major security breaches. Most recently, the home improvement chain Home Depot reported one of the largest breaches in history. Additionally, the Florida Times Union is reporting that several Florida area Jimmy Johns sandwich shops were targeted by point of sale credit card theft.
Theft in Florida
There are various categories of theft under the Florida statute. The following classifications are based on the value of the property taken, as well as the circumstances surrounding the incident.
- Petit Larceny – This charge covers the taking of items with a value less than $300. It is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor and punishments can range from fines to a year of incarceration
- Grand Larceny – This charge involves the taking of items in excess of $300 in value. Grand larceny charges are felonies in the third degree, punishable by imprisonment up to five years.
- Retail Theft – While this label seems appears to cover the retail security breaches, it is actually a legal term for the common theft of shoplifting. These charges are characterized as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the value of items taken.
- Dealing in Stolen Property – This crime involves dealing in or trafficking stolen items that an individual knows or should know are stolen. It is classified as a felony in the first degree.
While the perpetrators of the credit card breaches are likely to face federal fraud allegations, the individuals who try to use the stolen credit card numbers may face charges of dealing in stolen property if they attempt to use them within the state of Florida. These theft charges are very serious and a comprehensive defense is necessary to avoid conviction.
If you or a loved one is facing theft or fraud charges within the state of Florida, Attorneys Mycki Ratzan and Jude Faccidomo can provide you with an aggressive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.