Access Device Fraud Charges Are On The Rise
Access device fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. In 2014, there were more than 10 million victims of access device fraud-type crimes in the United States, and others were falsely accused of the crime. If you, a friend or a loved one has been accused of using someone else’s credit or debit card without their permission, call the experienced access device fraud criminal defense attorneys at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP.
Access device fraud occurs when someone uses an access device, such as a credit card or debit card, without the authorization of the person that it belongs to, or knowing that it is counterfeit or altered. Given the increased use of technology in our daily lives, access device fraud charges are becoming more prevalent since individuals have access to more personal information than ever before.
Our skilled access device fraud attorneys represent clients charged with access device fraud offenses in a wide variety of contexts. We can help with charges of access device fraud in connection with these and other circumstances:
- Makes or alters a debit or credit card which they knew they were not authorized to make or alter
- Possessing someone’s credit or debit card when they know they don’t have that person’s permission
- Using someone’s else’s credit or debit card without their permission
Under Pennsylvania law:
§ 4106. Access device fraud
- (a) Offense defined — A person commits an offense if he:
- (1) uses an access device to obtain or in an attempt to obtain property or services with knowledge that:
- (i) the access device is counterfeit, altered or incomplete;
- (ii) the access device was issued to another person who has not authorized its use;
- (iii) the access device has been revoked or canceled; or
- (iv) for any other reason his or her use of the access device is unauthorized by the issuer or the device holder; or
- (2) publishes, makes, sells, gives or otherwise transfers to another, or offers or advertises, or aids and abets any other person to use an access device knowing that the access device is counterfeit, altered or incomplete, belongs to another person who has not authorized its use, has been revoked or canceled or for any reason is unauthorized by the issuer or the device holder; or
- (3) possesses an access device knowing that it is counterfeit, altered, incomplete or belongs to another person who has not authorized its possession.
- (b) Separate offenses — Each time a person possesses or uses a debit or credit card of another when they are not permitted to in violation of subsection (a) constitutes a separate offense under this section. However, the total values involved in offenses under this section committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same victim or several victims, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.
Potential Access Device Fraud Penalties and Consequences
The penalties associated with access device fraud crimes have been made harsher over the years in Pennsylvania.
- 1) An offense under subsection (a)(1) falls within the following classifications depending on the value of the property or service obtained or sought to be obtained by means of the access device:
- (i) if the value involved was $500 or more, the offense constitutes a felony of the third degree (which is punishable by a maximum of 7 years in prison); or
- (ii) if the value involved was $50 or more but less than $500, the offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree (which is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison; or
- (iii) if the value involved was less than $50, the offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, (which is punishable by a maximum of 2 years in prison).
- (2) Amounts involved in unlawful use of an access device pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same issuer or several issuers, may be aggregated in determining the classification of the offense.
- (3) An offense under subsection (a)(2) constitutes a felony of the third degree.
- (4) An offense under subsection (a)(3) constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree.
- (5) Each access device involved in the offense specified in subsection (a)(2) or (3) shall constitute a separate offense.
Legislative representatives in Pennsylvania are also working to increase penalties for individuals who commit crimes while using a stolen credit or debit card. Depending on the evidence and severity of the alleged offense, access device fraud may currently be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Pennsylvania. Currently, access device fraud is graded as a Felony in the Third Degree punishable up to 7 years in prison if the theft is more than $500.
Hire An Experienced Access Device Fraud Attorney
Any access device fraud charge should be taken very seriously. To protect your rights, you must consult with an experienced access device fraud attorney who will fight for your freedom. The access device fraud lawyers at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP thoroughly understand access device fraud charges and will work diligently to defend your good record.
Our attorneys regularly appear in courts throughout Chester County, Montgomery County, Berks County and Delaware County, as well as courts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your access device fraud case, contact an identity theft lawyer at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP right away.