What is the sentence for credit card fraud?

The person used his father’s credit card to purchase $4000 worth from amazon.com. He is 25-30 years old, a first time offender, and used the credit card because he was angry at his father. Should he speak to a criminal defense attorney? In Harford County, MD. 

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, he definitely should speak to a criminal defense attorney. What this person did is form of theft, and based on the dollar amount, it is a felony--the more serious category of crimes. In MD, stealing between $1,000 and $10,000 can result in up to 10 years imprisonment, up to a $10,000 fine, or both, plus return of the amount stolen. That's the maximum: for a 1st time offender with an otherwise clean record, if he offers to make restitition, there is a good chance he could plead to a lesser offense--but that's where an experienced criminal defense attorney, who knows the law, the precedents, and the police, prosecutors, and judges, is invaluable, in putting things in the best light and getting the best deal. Being angry at his father is not even remotely a defense, however, and he should not try to justify his criminal actions on that basis.

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