Credit Card Fraud
Given our increasingly digital economy, fewer people are using cash to buy things, and more people are relying on credit cards and other electronic means of payment. As a result, police and prosecutors have recently been cracking down on all types of credit card fraud. If you face charges of credit card fraud or unauthorized use of a credit card, it is imperative that you work with an attorney who understands these complex cases. At the Law Offices of James E. Novak, we have more than 20 years of hands-on experience on the cutting-edge of criminal defense. We command an impressive knowledge of what the government needs to establish to prove you guilty and how to keep them from doing so.What Is Credit Card Fraud in Arizona?
In Arizona, credit card fraud is a serious offense. So much so that lawmakers actually dedicated a whole chapter of the Arizona Revised Statutes to the offense. These laws cover all different types of credit card fraud, including:
- Theft of a credit card;
- Obtaining a credit card through fraudulent means;
- Receipt of anything of value obtained by fraudulent use of a credit card;
- Forgery of a credit card;
- Unlawful possession of a scanning device; or
- Making a false statement to obtain a credit card.
Of course, some of these offenses are more common than others. For example, under A.R.S. § 13-2102, the crime of credit card theft occurs when someone controls a credit card without the owner’s permission. Notably, you do not have to actually use a credit card in order to be charged with this crime. For example, if you were alleged to have stolen someone’s purse, and there was a credit card inside, you could technically face credit card theft charges.
Credit card theft is one of the more straightforward crimes involving the unauthorized possession or use of a credit card. Many other related offenses are much more nuanced. For example, it is also a crime to buy or receive or attempt to buy or receive money, goods, services or any other thing of value obtained through credit card theft.What Is Considered a “Credit Card” Under Arizona Law?
Under A.R.S. § 13-2101, the term “credit card” includes valid credit cards as well as debit cards, stored value cards, as well as credit card numbers. Thus, even if you were not in possession of a physical credit card but used someone else’s credit card number (for example, to purchase goods online), you could still be arrested for credit card theft.Is Using Another Person’s Credit Card Illegal?
Yes and no. As long as you have the credit card owner’s permission, it is not against the law to use a credit card that has someone else’s name on the card. However, the vendor does not need to accept this form of payment because they will not know that you have permission. You are likely to run into a problem, however, if you use another person’s credit card without their knowledge or consent. This applies regardless of whether you know the person whose credit card you were using. For example, it is possible for a child who uses a parent’s credit card without their parent’s knowledge to face criminal charges (although this is unlikely unless the parent reports the unauthorized use).Have You Been Arrested for Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card?
If you were recently arrested and charged with one or more theft crimes based on allegations of credit card theft or fraud, reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak for immediate assistance. Attorney Novak is an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney who prides himself on providing each of his clients with the very best representation possible. With his help, you can ensure that your arrest has as little impact on your future as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Novak today, call 480-413-1499.