Law Against Counterfeiting Credit Cards
Our economy heavily relies on the use of credit cards when making consumer purchases and this includes both in-person and online shopping. Given the sensitive nature of such cards, it is a crime for a person to counterfeit credit cards or have the technology to do so. Counterfeiting credit cards is a form of fraud and can result in serious penalties, as well as a criminal record. If you have been accused of this crime we highly encourage you to reach out to us and let us know about your case.
The Elements for Counterfeiting Credit Cards
Counterfeiting credit cards is illegal according California Penal Code 484i. The law refers to incomplete credit cards, which are cards that are missing an element/aspect on them that would only be issued by the legitimate credit card company. The penal code has very specific elements for this crime. The defendant must have either possessed an “incomplete access card, with the intent to complete it without the consent of the issuer,” made, altered, changed, modified, or varied a card with the intent to defraud, or designed, made, possessed, or trafficked the technology needed to counterfeit credit cards with the intent to counterfeit.
What Happens When the Defendant is Found Guilty?
If the prosecution successfully proves the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant faces conviction. It is up to the prosecutor to determine whether the defendant faces a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The prosecutor bases their decision on several factors, including the defendant’s previous criminal history and the circumstances surrounding the criminal violation. In the case of a misdemeanor, the defendant can be jailed for up to six months and pay a fine, whereas a felony can require spending up to three years in jail, as well as paying a higher fine. As we mentioned above, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have been accused of counterfeiting credit cards. Our experienced criminal attorneys can aid in establishing a defense.