Will I Go to Jail for Credit Card Fraud in Tennessee?

woman holding credit card

It can be frustrating and scary to experience credit card fraud. With constantly evolving modern technology, fraud is becoming more common and easier for people to commit. In turn, penalties can become harsher. In Tennessee, credit card fraud is charged as theft, meaning you can face either misdemeanor or felony charges if caught. Depending on the severity of your crime you can face hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. If you have been arrested for credit card fraud it is imperative that you hire sound legal representation to defend you. Contact a skilled Memphis white-collar crime lawyer to begin discussing the details of your case and forming an effective defensive strategy.

How is Credit Card Fraud Defined?

In Tennessee, a person can be convicted of credit card fraud in a few ways, all of which are considered serious crimes and charged as such. The following are the definitions of the types of credit or debit card fraud recognized by Tennessee state law.

a. Purposefully and illegally possessing and using a credit or debit card without the permission of the owner or issuer of the card.
b. Fraudulently using or allowing the use of a credit or debit card to obtain goods or services knowing that the card is forged, stolen, revoked, canceled, expired, or is otherwise unauthorized by the issuer or cardholder.
c. Making false statements or misrepresenting information to obtain a credit or debit card.
d. Forging, counterfeiting, or altering a credit or debit card.

What Are the Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Tennessee?

The penalties for credit card fraud in Tennessee are harsh, even more severe than many other states. The real outcome of your conviction may be more or less severe depending on a number of factors. If you have a past criminal record or committed fraud with multiple cards it can result in a more extreme sentence. The grading of your crime and therefore the penalties that are associated will depend on the value of the goods that were stolen or attempted to be stolen. The following are the standard consequences for these types of fraud in Tennessee.

  • Goods or services valuing $1,000 or less OR if nothing was actually obtained:
    • Class A misdemeanor
    • Jail sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days
    • Fines of up to $2,500
  • Goods or services valuing $1,000 to $2,500:
    • Class E felony
    • Jail sentence of 1 to 6 years
    • Fines of up to $3,000
  • Goods or services valuing $2,500 to $10,000:
    • Class D felony
    • Jail sentence of 2 to 12 years
    • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Goods or services valuing $10,000 to $60,000:
    • Class C felony
    • Jail sentence of 3 to 15 years
    • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Goods or services valuing $60,000 to $250,000:
    • Class B felony
    • Jail sentence of 8 to 30 years
    • Fines of up to $25,000