It is against the law to use someone else's credit card or credit card information without his or her permission. This offense is known as "credit card fraud," though the same rules apply for debit cards and access cards. Credit card fraud is a crime that often falls into the category of identity theft since these offenses usually involve the act of illegally using someone else's credit card information or other personal information.
If you are facing criminal charges for alleged credit card fraud, now is the time to jump into action. Attorney Nicolai Cocis is a Temecula valley criminal defense attorney who has been practicing in the field of criminal law since 1999.
California's Credit Card Fraud Statutes
California Penal Code 484e - 484j lists a number of different actions that can fall under the category of credit card fraud, when they are committed with the intent to defraud others.
Some of these actions include the following (with the term "access card" being used for credit cards and similar types of cards):
- Selling, transferring or taking an access card without the card holder's permission (grand theft)
- Obtaining an access card with the intention of using, selling or transferring it without the card holder's consent (petty theft)
- Obtaining credit cards of four or more people (within the period of a year) when the individual should know that the cards were illegally obtained (grand theft)
- Obtaining or possessing access card account information without consent from the owner of the account (grand theft)
- Creating a counterfeit access card (forgery)
- Signing another person's name or the name of a made-up person on an access card, sales slip, etc. (forgery)
- Pretending to be the holder of an access card for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services or other items of value, without the actual card holder's permission (grand theft for money, goods or services amounting to more than $950 within six months; theft when this amounts to less)
- For Retailers: Accepting payment with an access card that one knows is forged, revoked, expired, etc. (grand theft if purchased goods more than $950 within six months, theft when this amounts to less)
An action can only be considered credit card fraud if the accused individual carried it out with the intent to defraud someone else. If this element is not proven, prosecutors do not have a case and the defendant will either have to be dismissed or acquitted of his or her criminal charges.
Our criminal defense law firm may be able to help you prove that your actions were not carried out with fraudulent intent, or even that you never committed the accused action in the first place. With strong legal defense, you may be able to avoid conviction, or you may be able to get your charges and penalties reduced.
If you were arrested for credit card fraud in Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Corona or Riverside, contact our law firm so we can schedule a free case evaluation!
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