In today’s world, using credit and debit cards is a way of life. Whether it’s making a purchase online, going out to dinner, or buying groceries, these cards play a role in the lives of everyone. However, when used by people who are not authorized to do so, it can lead to criminal charges being filed. Known as access device fraud, it’s taken very seriously by law enforcement and can result in you facing serious consequences whether or not you acted with criminal intent. If you find yourself charged with access device fraud, you need the services of a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling these cases.
What is Access Device Fraud?
Defined as illegal activity using an access device to obtain or try to obtain a person’s money, property, or services without their permission, this is a crime that can lead to frightening repercussions. Because of this, you’ll find yourself in need of an attorney who will tirelessly pursue your innocence. Using a strong and aggressive defense, your attorney will examine the key details of the case, read over police reports, and interview any witnesses who gave statements to the police. Once this is done, your attorney will use every legal option available to them in order to prove your innocence.
Access Device Fraud Situations
Since access device fraud involves the use of a credit card, debit card, ATM card, or any type of card with an account number on it, there can be a variety of situations in which this can can be alleged to have taken place. For example, if you use a friend’s credit card without their permission to purchase new clothing for yourself or eat dinner at an upscale restaurant, you can be charged with access device fraud. Even if you acted with no criminal intent whatsoever, using the card without the owner’s permission can be grounds for charges to be filed. Along with this, if you choose to create or sell a counterfeit access device to another individual, you can be charged with fraud. Whatever the circumstances of your case, it’s important to have an attorney who knows how to plan a defense strategy that will get you the best possible results.
What Happens If I Am Charged?
If you are charged with access device fraud, it’s vital to keep your wits about you and not panic. For starters, do not do anything that will unnecessarily create a confrontation with the arresting officer. Instead, politely refuse to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. Even though the police will attempt to question you and may put pressure on you to answer their questions, do not give in to temptation in an effort to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. If you choose to talk to police without an attorney, much of what you say will likely be taken out of context and used against you. Instead of letting this happen, let an attorney act on your behalf. By not claiming your innocence or discussing any aspects of the case with police or prosecutors, you will make your attorney’s job much easier and allow yourself the chance to walk away from the situation with an acquittal.
Access Device Fraud Penalties
When it comes to these cases, the charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the value of what was allegedly taken. If the stolen item was valued at more than $500, it’s likely a third-degree felony. If the item was valued between $50-$500, it can be a first-degree misdemeanor. And finally, if the value was less than $50, it’s considered a second-degree misdemeanor. Depending on the situation, you may face prison time and fines, along with having a criminal record.
What Your Lawyer Can Do For You
Rather than let the authorities dictate your legal situation and saddle you with a criminal record for the rest of your life, hire an experienced attorney and turn your case over to them. Whether it’s discrediting evidence that is not in your favor, having witnesses testify on your behalf, or arguing you acted with no criminal intent, a knowledgeable access device fraud lawyer can turn the tide in your favor.
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