Credit card fraud, identity fraud, theft — with the advent of the internet comes increased credit card crime. We use our credit and debit cards online, when we dine out, and when we shop. When credit card numbers are easily obtained, theft is easy as well. Unauthorized use or possession of a credit card in Wagoner, Oklahoma — or even the unauthorized of a debit card — is a type of fraud that is closely related to identity theft.
There are several ways unauthorized use or possession of a credit card can be charged. If you are under investigation for possession or use of another person’s credit or debit card, here are some things you might want to know.
Unauthorized Use or Possession of a Credit Card or Debit Card
In Oklahoma, it is unlawful for anyone to knowingly use or attempt to use either a credit or debit card which has been issued to another person, or which is not being used with that person’s permission. It is also unlawful to use a card that has been revoked or canceled once the issuer has given actual notice to the cardholder. It is also unlawful to use a fake or counterfeit credit or debit card. It is unlawful to use these cards in any manner, whether it be in person, by phone or by internet for the purpose of obtaining credit or for the purchase of goods or services, or for the purpose of obtaining a cash advance, or to deposit, obtain or transfer funds. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.2
In Oklahoma, the unauthorized use or possession of a credit card can be charged as a misdemeanor if the amount involved is $500 or less. In that case, the crime is punishable by a fine of up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, or both. If the amount exceeds $500, you could face a fine between $500 and $1,000, up to a year in jail, or both.
Taking or Receiving a Credit or Debit Card is Credit Card Theft
In Oklahoma, it is also unlawful to take or knowingly receive a credit or debit card from another’s possession, custody or control without the cardholder’s consent. This includes obtaining a card by larceny, larceny by trick or by bailee, embezzlement, obtaining property by false pretenses, extortion or in any other manner without the cardholder’s consent. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.22
Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you could be charged either with a misdemeanor or a felony. If the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, you could be fined up to $1,000 and face a jail term of up to one year. If unauthorized use or possession of a credit card is charged as a felony, you could face up to seven years in prison.
If the value of the goods or services received as a result of the unauthorized use or possession is $1,000 or more, you can be convicted of a felony. The penalty is a fine of up to $3,000, imprisonment for up to three years, or both. If the value is less than $1,000, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor offense. This is punishable by up to a year in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
A series of offenses may be combined when they are the result of a plan or scheme which results in the taking or diversion of money or property on a recurring basis. This constitutes a continuing course of conduct. This could be a situation in which small amounts are charged onto a person’s debit card without authorization, or where a person uses another person’s debit card number on a regular basis, but always involving smaller amounts. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.33
There are defenses to these crimes. Lack of knowledge and having permission are the most commonly used defenses. You should speak to an experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a viable defense.
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For a free consultation with a Wagoner, Oklahoma criminal lawyer, call 918-485-0335. Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.