Credit card fraud involves the unauthorized use of another’s credit card information for personal gain, carrying significant legal consequences upon conviction. Below, Liberty Law Group goes over what constitutes credit card fraud in Nebraska, including its legal definitions, potential defenses, penalties, and the reason for retaining a criminal defense lawyer if charged.

Omaha Credit Card Fraud Defense Lawyers

The financial crime defense team at Liberty Law Group are experts in defending against Credit Card fraud. With a proven track record and deep understanding of financial crime cases, our attorneys will ensure that you receive the best legal representation available.

Our firm proudly serves Omaha in Douglas County, including Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Fremont in Dodge County and Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie County, Iowa and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation for Credit Card Fraud, don’t wait, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Credit Card Fraud in Nebraska

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What is Credit Card Fraud in Nebraska?

Issuing a False Financial Statement for Obtaining a Credit Card

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-619, credit card fraud occurs when an individual applies for a credit card and intentionally provides false information or omits important details about their financial situation. This includes making false statements or reports about personal details like name, occupation, financial condition, assets, or liabilities; overvaluing assets; or intentionally undervaluing debts. The primary intent is to mislead the credit card issuer into granting a credit card based on this incorrect or incomplete information.

This offense is treated as a Class I misdemeanor. This classification includes penalties such as up to 1 year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. If two or more false statements are issued for obtaining multiple credit cards, the offense escalates to a Class IV felony, carrying more severe consequences, including 0-2 years in prison followed by 9-12 months of post-release supervision and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

Unauthorized Use of a Credit Card

Nebraska Revised Statute 28-620 addresses the actual usage of a credit card without proper authorization. It includes:

  • Using a credit card to obtain money, credit, property, services, or make payments, with the intention to defraud.
  • Utilizing a credit card that the user knows, or should reasonably know, is expired, revoked, or canceled.
  • Engaging in transactions with a credit card that is known to be forged, altered, or counterfeited.
  • Operating a credit card without authorization from either the issuer or the account holder.

If the total value involved is less than $500 within a six-month period, it is classified as a Class II misdemeanor, which could result in up to 6 months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. If the value is between $500 and $1,500 in six months, it is considered a Class I misdemeanor, potentially leading to 1 year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. For values between $1,500 and $5,000 in six months, the crime is classified as a Class IV felony, with penalties including 0-2 years in prison, post-release supervision, and/or up to a $10,000 fine. If the value exceeds $5,000 within six months, the offense is a Class IIA felony, which could lead to 0-20 years in prison.

Criminal Possession of a Credit Card

Under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-621, it is illegal to have possession or control over a credit card that is not lawfully owned. It includes having a credit card issued to another person or one that is known or should be known to be lost, stolen, forged, altered, or counterfeited. A major element of this law is the intent to defraud, indicating that the person possessing the card has plans or intentions to use it illegally.

Possessing one card is a Class III misdemeanor, with penalties up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine. Possessing two or three cards is a Class IV felony, leading to potentially more severe penalties, including 0-2 years in prison, post-release supervision, and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Possessing four or more cards escalates to a Class IIA felony, with penalties including 0-20 years in prison.

Avoiding Jail for Credit Card Crimes

Individuals found guilty of credit card fraud in Nebraska may be allowed probation, depending on the circumstances of the case and the court’s judgment. Probation can include conditions like avoiding unlawful behavior, maintaining employment or education, routine visits with probation officers, and attending rehabilitation or counseling sessions.

Participation in post-plea programs like Adult Drug Court, Veterans Treatment Court, or Young Adult Court offers structured rehabilitative options and, in some cases, can lead to the dismissal of charges. These programs are tailored to address specific issues like substance abuse, mental health, and trauma, and are designed to provide alternatives to traditional prosecution and help reduce recidivism.

Individuals with fraud charges could also be eligible for pre-plea programs, called diversion programs. In Lancaster County, this includes the Veterans Diversion Program, Treatment Diversion Program, Intensive Supervision Diversion, Mental Health Diversion, and General Diversion Program.

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What are Potential Defenses to Credit Card Fraud in Nebraska?

In credit card fraud cases in Nebraska, several defenses can be raised based on the circumstances of the case. A common defense is the lack of fraudulent intent. Since credit card fraud laws require an intention to defraud, proving the absence of this intent can be a valid defense. For instance, if someone unknowingly used a credit card believing they had permission, this could negate the fraudulent intent element.

Another defense is the absence of knowledge. This applies when an individual did not know that the credit card was expired, revoked, canceled, or that it was altered, forged, or counterfeit. For example, if a person used a credit card unaware of its revoked status, this could be a defense.

Mistaken identity is also a potential defense. This occurs when the accused is not the person who committed the alleged fraudulent activities. Establishing that someone else was responsible can lead to a dismissal of the fraud charges.

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How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help An Individual Facing Credit Card Fraud Charges

A criminal defense lawyer represents and advises a client charged with credit card fraud or other financial crimes in Nebraska by carefully analyzing the case to develop a strong defense strategy. They gather evidence, question witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. The lawyer ensures the client’s rights are protected throughout the legal process. They negotiate with prosecutors, aiming to reduce or dismiss charges, and represent the client in court, advocating on their behalf. Their role is to provide legal guidance and strive for the best possible outcome based on the specifics of the case.

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Additional Resources

State Resources for Victims – Visit the “Credit Reporting” page on the official website for the Attorney General of Nebraska to learn more about what victims should do in the event that they’ve become targets of credit card fraud. Access the site to learn more about credit reporting generally, and why it’s important to take action in the event that credit card fraud occurs. Find more information on how to protect credit card information proactively as well.

Steps to Take Now – Visit the official website for the federal Office of Victims of Crime to learn more about steps victims should take if their credit cards have been compromised or they have otherwise been affected by financial theft. Access the site to learn about putting an alert on credit reports and filing a police report. Find more information on reporting this kind of theft to the Federal Trade Commission as well.

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Find a Credit Card Defense Lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska

Credit Card Fraud is a deep and expansive topic that requires strong defense and even stronger research. Our financial crime defense team at Liberty Law Firm is the best in their field and are ready to provide the defense that you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation for Credit Card Fraud, don’t wait, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.