Fraud Crimes: Credit Card Theft

Criminal schemes revolving around debit/credit card accounts are rampant. Credit card theft laws penalize those who act deceptively or without authority when using another individual’s credit card account in an effort to steal money, goods and/or services. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Barber Law Group, PLLC understand the seriousness of a criminal conviction for theft in Arizona, and are ready to help defend you.

The Basics of Credit Card Theft in Arizona

In Arizona, One commits credit card theft by doing any of the following:

1) Possessing or controlling a credit card as security for a debt with the intent to defraud;

2) Selling or transferring a credit card with the intent to defraud; or

3) Possessing or controlling a credit card without the cardholder’s permission.

There are two types of transactions that occur when dealing with credit card theft or fraud: card present and card not present. For card present crimes, the victim’s credit card must actually be stolen from their person. It also includes acts such as when one applies for a new credit card in a victim’s name, or requests replacement cards. For card not present crimes, the victim’s credit card does not need to be physically stolen. In this case, the fraudulent act is accomplished by recording the credit card number and other identifying information to utilize it on the phone, online or in some other manner which does not require the credit card to be swiped at the time of the transaction.

The Penalties Faced By Arizona Residents Charged With Credit Card Theft

In Arizona, credit card theft is considered a “Class 5 Felony” and the penalties can be quite severe. Even first-time offenders can be faced with jail time ranging from 6 months to two-and-a-half years. Moreover, the penalties escalate if a party receives anything they purchased with the stolen card. The severity of the penalties and the potential sentence depend on the value of items obtained, and whether the person has a theft-related conviction in the past. For example, if one receives items valued less than $250, they can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to six months in prison. If one receives items valued between $250 and $1000, they can be charged with a felony and face up to one year in prison. If the purchased items are valued over $1000, the individual can be charged with a felony and face up to one-and-a-half years in prison.

Seek the assistance of one of the legal professionals at the Barber Law Group, PLLC. We are located in Phoenix, Arizona, and can assist you if you are currently facing charges of credit card theft. Come to us with confidence, knowing that you have 30 years of defense experience among our attorneys. Our attorneys can assist you in challenging and defending your case in court; call us at 602-500-2261 for your free consultation today.

Author: Bretton Barber

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