Fraud is a serious criminal offence that may result in an equally serious penalty upon conviction. The law defines fraud as depriving a person of his or her property through the use of dishonesty or deceit.
Credit card fraud is a type of fraud that specifically involves the use (or misuse) of a credit card. For example, the offender could use someone else’s credit card in order to purchase services or goods without that other person’s consent. The potential penalties for a fraud conviction depend, in part, upon the value of the goods that a person wrongfully obtained. For example, if the credit card fraud involved goods that were more than $5,000 in value, the Crown prosecutor may request a jail sentence upon conviction. There are, however, plenty of potential legal defences and diversion programs available. The Calgary fraud defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can look at all of your options and steer you towards the most favourable way of resolving your criminal case.
Asserting a Good Legal Defence to Credit Card Fraud
One of the best ways to try and avoid jail time following a credit card fraud conviction is to assert a good legal defence to the charge. Specifically, you may be able to allege one of the following:
- Lack of intent - You may be able to allege that you did not intend to be dishonest or fraudulent when you committed the alleged fraudulent act.
- No loss or risk to the alleged victim - You may also be able to contend that the allegedly fraudulent act, in fact, did not result in any loss or risk to the alleged fraud victim. A loss must involve some transfer of interests or assets.
Eligibility for a Diversion Program
If you have been charged with or convicted of credit card fraud under $5,000—and this is a first or second offence—you may be able to apply for a pre-trial diversion program, which can result in a dropped charged and no penalties. This may also allow you to avoid obtaining a criminal record for your charge. One common way to divert a fraud charge is by applying to the alternative measures program. If you are accepted, you may have to pay restitution and complete community service or some other requirement. However, upon completion, the prosecutor can withdraw the fraud charge, and you will not have a criminal record. Aside from a diversion program, other alternatives to jail time include applying for a discharge or looking to alternative sentencing options, such as a conviction and a fine, or a conviction with a fine and probation.
Talk to a Credit Card Fraud Defence Lawyer in Calgary Today
The criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can examine all of your options and negotiate with the Crown prosecutor when it comes to sentencing. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Calgary credit card fraud defence lawyer, please call us today at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online.