criminal fraudCriminal Fraud Encompasses A Number of Fraudulent Activities Under Alabama Law

The Alabama criminal code contains a number of criminal charges involving some form of criminal fraud. All criminal fraud charges in Alabama centered around a person having the intent to defraud, which is having a purpose to use deception to either obtain or injure some interest of another person which has value. Typically this involves the use of deception to obtain money or goods.

Forgery is a criminal offense in Alabama involving criminal fraud. A person commits forgery if with the intent to defraud they falsely complete or alter the written instrument such as a check. Forgery in the first degree is a Class B felony, forgery in the second degree is a Class C felony, and forgery in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor. In order for the crime to be forgery in the second degree the forgery must either make, complete, or alter a written instrument such as a deed, a will, contract, a check, or a note, or some other commercial instrument used to create, transfer, or otherwise affect the legal right, obligation, or status.

Credit card fraud and the use of stolen credit cards fall under the Alabama criminal code definition of criminal fraud. A person commits the crime of illegal possession of a credit or debit card if they possess the card knowing that they do not have the consent of the true owner of the card. A person possessing a stolen credit card or debit card commits the crime of fraudulent use of a credit or debit card if they use, attempted use, or allow the car to be used for purposes of obtaining property, services, or anything else about, with the knowledge that the card is stolen, or if the card has been revoked or canceled. They may also commit the crime of fraudulent use of a credit card or debit card for any other reason the card is unauthorized by either the issuer of the card or the person to whom the card has been issued. The illegal possession or the fraudulent use of a credit or debit card is a Class C felony in Alabama.

Worthless check cases also falls under the Alabama law governing criminal fraud. The Alabama charge is officially called negotiating a worthless negotiable instrument. A person commits the crime of negotiating a worthless instrument if they deliver or use a negotiable instrument, a check, to obtain something of value with the intent, knowledge, or expectation that the check will not be  honored. Under Alabama’s law evidence that a person intended, or new or expected that the check would not be honored can be shown if they have no account with the bank, or if payment was refused by the bank for lack of funds. Negotiating a worthless instrument in Alabama is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine and up to one year in jail.

Bradford Ladner, LLP. is a Birmingham Alabama law firm with over 30 years of experience handling state and federal criminal trials and appeals statewide.

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