Our information is everywhere these days. Each time we engage in an online transaction using a debit or credit card, we leave traces of that transaction, including credit card and debit card numbers. It is all too easy for someone to get a hold of those numbers and to use them to buy things or, even worse, clean out our bank accounts.
At its core, unauthorized use or possession of a credit or debit card is a crime of theft or fraud. And Oklahoma courts are cracking down on this crime.
Unauthorized Use of Credit or Debit Cards in Oklahoma Defined
This crime is grounded in the lack of permission to use another person’s credit or debit card for any of the following purposes:
- obtaining credit;
- purchasing goods, property, or services;
- obtaining cash advances; or
- depositing, obtaining or transferring funds.
In addition, it is against Oklahoma law for any person to use a credit or debit card once it has been revoked or canceled by the card issuer once the card issuer has given actual notice to the cardholder. Once the card is canceled and you have notice of the cancellation, it is unauthorized use.
Likewise, it is also unlawful to use a fake or counterfeit credit or debit card. Doing so also constitutes unauthorized use. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.2
Punishment Varies According to Amount
Oklahoma classifies this crime according to how much money is involved.
If the amount involved is $500 or less, the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine up to $500, or both.
If the amount involved exceeds $500, you could face a fine between $500 and $1,000, and possibly up to a year in jail.
Felony Charges are Possible
The Oklahoma Credit Card Act has a number of other laws that address unauthorized credit and debit card use, making it possible to be charged under multiple statutes.
For example, just picking up someone’s credit card and pocketing it is a felony offense. You could plan to use it later or sell the card — but either way, just having it in your possession could get you into trouble.
If the amount of the transaction involves $1,000 or more, you could also face a felony charge. In addition, prosecutors can add the amounts of smaller transactions together — making it easier for them to reach this threshold amount.
A felony charge could mean up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $3,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.33
Alternatively, you could also be charged with identity theft. This crime is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1533.1
There are defenses to these crimes, depending on your circumstances. A Claremore criminal defense attorney will know which defenses will be applicable to your situation.
Among the possible defenses, permission is one of the most common. If you have permission, the use is actually authorized.
Any time in prison is a long time. Get the help you need when it matters the most. We are here to help protect you.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Claremore Criminal Defense Attorney
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