Georgia Criminal Fraud Laws

Under the criminal laws of Georgia, fraud is “using deceitful or dishonest means to get something of value”. It can be a confusing area of law. A defense law firm with experience fighting criminal fraud charges can help you make sense of your charges and get you a better outcome.

Criminal Charge in Georgia? Please call (800) 993-5468.

Contact us for a free case evaluation on Georgia fraud offenses to find out what you are facing.

Georgia Fraud Laws

There are several offenses that belong under the heading of “fraud”.

Forgery – Laws & Penalties

There are two type of forgery under Georgia Law. Both are felonies.

Forgery in the 2nd degree is when in an attempt to defraud, you make, alter, or possess any writing in a fictitious name or in a way as to make someone believe the writing was done by another person, at another time, or a different situation, or that you had permission or authority to possess the writing when you in fact did not.

Forgery in the 1st degree is when you attempt to pass or actually use the writing explained in the previous definition.

**For example, forgery in the 2nd degree would be you were in possession of a contract belonging to someone else and you signed their signature to it. Forgery in the 1st degree occurs when you take that contract and attempt to pass it off as legitimate.

Penalties for Forgery in Georgia

Forgery in the 1st degree carries a penalty of 1-10 years in prison with variable fines.

Forgery in the 2nd degree carries a penalty of 1-5 years in prison with variable fines.

Deposit account Fraud (Bad checks) – Laws & Penalties

Writing bad checks, or attempting to do business on an account that is either closed has insufficient funds is referred to deposit account fraud in Georgia.

When talking about the check or other item used against the account, you will hear the Court and law enforcement refer to those items as “instruments”.

*The potential sentence in deposit account fraud cases depend on the amount or the “instrument” or the dollar amount you are found guilty of defrauding.

Amount of Check/Instrument

Less than $100 misdemeanor

$100-$300 misdemeanor

$300-$499 misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature

$500+ felony

If the account is in another state, regardless of the amount of the instrument.

Potential Sentence

  • Fine less than $500 and up to 1 year in prison
  • Fine less than $1,000 and up to 1 year in prison.
  • Fines less than $5,000 and up to 1 year in prison.
  • Fines of $500-5,000 and up to 3 years in prison.
  • Fines of up to $1,000 and 1-5 years in prison.

*You will also be required to pay restitution and may be charged interest on the amount.

Illegal Use of Financial Transaction Cards (ATM or Debit card fraud)

If you alter, manufacture, or sign a card that isn’t yours with the intent to defraud you could be found guilty of financial transaction card fraud. If you use someone else’s card without their authorization, you would also be guilty.

Credit Card Fraud – Penalties

This crime or credit card fraud is a felony under Georgia law, and punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and 1-3 years of prison.

Identity Fraud – Laws & Penalties

You can be charged and found guilty of identity fraud (identity theft) if you:

  • Use or possess, with an intent to defraud, identifying material of another person, living or dead.
  • Use or possess, with an intent to defraud, identifying material of a fictitious person.
  • Create any counterfeit identifying information attributed to any persons, living, dead, or fictitious.
  • Knowingly accept, for identification purposes, fraudulent or fictitious identifying information.

In the State of Georgia, fraud encompasses many different crimes. Call us for a consultation on your specific case and we would be happy to assist you during this troubling time.

Potential Sentences

1st Offense

2nd and subsequent offenses

If you are under 21 years and there was no intention of theft

  • Up to $100,000 in fines and 1-10 years in prison
  • Up to $250,000 in fines and 3-15 years in prison.
  • Up to $5,000 in fines and 1-3 years in prison

*If you are found guilty of identity theft, all law violations will be treated as separate offenses.