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What are the penalties for fraudulent credit card use?

The state of Wisconsin has enacted numerous laws that govern the use of credit cards. It's also developed criminal statutes with associated penalties for the fraudulent use of credit cards. If you've been accused of any type of credit card fraud, it's important to know what the potential penalties are if you're convicted.

Here is a list of penalties associated with Wisconsin credit card fraud based on the class of the crime:

-- Class A misdemeanor: This charge relates to credit card theft, counterfeit credit card possession or the illegal use of a credit card to obtain property under $2,500 in value during a six-month period. This will result in a fine of as much as $10,000 and a prison sentence of not more than nine months.

-- Class I Felony: This relates to the crime of counterfeiting credit cards or illegally using credit cards to obtain property between $2,500 and $5,000. This will result in a fine of as much as $10,000 and a prison sentence of as much as three and a half years.

-- Class H Felony: This relates to the illegal use of a credit card to purchase items between $5,000 and $10,000 in value during a six-month period. This will result in a prison sentence of as much as six years and fines as high as $10,000.

-- Class G Felony: This relates to the illegal use of a credit card to purchase up to $10,000 worth of items within a six-month period. Sentences could be a prison sentence of as much as 10 years and fines of up to $25,000.

In all of the above cases, the convicted person may also need to pay back the value of the goods purchased or return them.

As you can see, if you've been accused of credit card fraud, the consequences of conviction can be serious. That said, you will only be convicted and punished if you are proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court. Until that moment, you will have every opportunity to defend yourself against the charges with the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer.

Source: FindLaw, "Wisconsin Credit and Debit Card Fraud," accessed March 26, 2017

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