Credit card theft and fraud are typically felony offenses in Michigan. Under the Michigan Penal Code, financial transaction device refers to credit cards, debit cards, and other instruments used to access financial accounts. On the state’s crime code list, only three out of the 19 charges related to financial transaction devices qualify as misdemeanors. The maximum sentencing for these offenses usually involves fines three times the amount withdrawn, with up to one to ten years in prison.
Michigan on credit card theft and fraud
In Michigan, it is a felony to knowingly remove, take or steal the financial transaction device of another or knowingly possess or use the device without the consent of the device holder. Knowingly possessing an altered or fraudulent credit card is also considered a felony. Fraud may involve using someone else’s card to purchase items without their consent or opening an account in someone’s name without consent. Physical possession is not required; using the card numbers alone qualifies as a crime.
More on credit card theft and fraud
Aside from credit cards, FTDs may also include rebate and gift cards. While many state laws target stealing, fraud and white collar crimes like forgery, these are structured so individuals may be charged for improperly using their own card or someone else’s. Using a canceled or revoked FTD may qualify as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount and number of related offenses.
After the second revoked or canceled FTD conviction, or with over $500 withdrawn, this offense becomes a felony. Possessing an altered card, stealing, forging or possession with the intent to use could warrant up to four years in prison up to $5,000 in fines.