Stealing a Credit or Debit Card
In California, the penal code addresses the multiple ways credit card fraud can be committed. For example, someone can steal a card, forge information, or accept a fake one. Since many people use credit or debit cards, it is important that you know how to keep them safe and to know your legal rights in case your financial information is compromised. This article will provide a brief overview of one of the laws: stealing a credit or debit card. If you believe your card has been stolen, contact us today for more help.
The Law Regarding Stealing a Card
The specific law regarding stealing a credit or debit card is California Penal Code 484e. If a defendant is accused of having violated said section of the penal code, the prosecution must then prove several elements in order to convict the defendant. The most important aspect is the defendant’s intent. The defendant must have stolen the card with the intention to commit fraud – i.e. use the card for their own purposes, fraudulently. Furthermore, the defendant must have either sold, acquired, or transferred the card (or its information) without the other person’s (cardholder’s) consent.
Penalties for Stealing a Credit or Debit Card
If the prosecution meets its burden, the defendant faces either a misdemeanor or a felony. Those who face a misdemeanor can face potential sentencing that includes jail time and a fine. However, those facing a felony must prepare for more severe penalties, as they can go to prison for up to three years, if found guilty. If a person has been falsely accused of stealing a credit or debit card, it is vital that they seek an experienced attorney, as it is considered a serious crime.