I am currently representing a client at the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey who is charged with theft by deception in violation of N.J.S. 2C:20-4 and credit card fraud in violation of N.J.S. 2C:21-6. The statute provides in pertinent part:

h. Fraudulent use of credit cards.

A person who knowingly uses any counterfeit, fictitious, altered, forged, lost, stolen or fraudulently obtained credit card to obtain money, goods or services, or anything else of value; or who, with unlawful or fraudulent intent, furnishes, acquires, or uses any actual or fictitious credit card, whether alone or together with names of credit cardholders, or other information pertaining to a credit card account in any form, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

Credit card fraud is a crime of the third degree, which includes between three (3) and five (5) years in state prison if convicted. It is typically accompanied by theft by deception charges which are graded based on the amount of the theft involved. For example, if the defendant is charged with stealing a credit card and using it for purchases totalling $2,000.00, the defendant will be charged with third degree credit card fraud and third degree theft by deception. If the amount of the theft is over $75,000.00, this will be graded as a second degree theft by deception crime. Remember, if you have no prior criminal history, you should apply for the Pre-Trial Intervention program if facing third degree theft by deception and credit card fraud offenses.