Theft of Debit & Credit Cards
Ask any New York criminal lawyer. New York larceny and theft crimes relating to debit cards and credit cards are some of the most serious in the nation. Possessing a stolen credit card or stealing a debit card is automatically a felony in New York. In fact, there are two separate felonies for the larceny and theft of a credit card as well as possessing the same. Make no mistake. Should you be charged with stealing or possessing a stolen credit card or debit card in New York pursuant to either New York Penal Law 155.30(4) or 165.45(2), you will need the assistance of a New York criminal lawyer versed in Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property felony crimes.
- New York Penal Law 155.30(4): Credit Card Grand Larceny & Theft
- New York Penal Law 165.45(2): Criminal Possession of Stolen Credit Cards
Regardless of whether you are accused of stealing a credit card of possessing the same as stolen property, the level felony you will face is an "E" felony. These types of felonies are punishable by no mandatory minimum term in prison for a first time offender, but up to one and one third to four years. If you have a prior felony in the past ten years (often called a predicate felon), then the mandatory minimum term in jail is one and one half to three years. The maximum term of incarceration is two to four years in state prison. It is imperative to keep in mind that each individual credit card or debit card is the basis for a new and distinct crime. Simply put, if you possess three stolen credit cards, you will be charged with three separate felony counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree pursuant to NY PL 165.45(2). Equally concerning, and as further described in the section addressing NY PL 165.45(2), there are some strong presumptions that prosecutors can use in their arsenal that relate your criminal possession of stolen credit cards as well as knowledge of the same. It is imperative to review these statutes when analyzing and understanding the charges against you.
Crimes Associated with Credit Card Theft & Stolen Debit Cards
Credit card and debit card theft is a fairly common crime. While sometimes the police stop an individual for an unrelated matter and a stolen credit card is found in their wallet, other times the theft or possession of the debit card is associated with other crimes that may be equal to or more serious than either NY PL 155.30(4) or NY PL 165.45(2). Some of these crimes include:
- Identity Theft in the First Degree - NY PL 190.81
- Grand Larceny from the Person (Pickpocket) - NY PL 155.30(5)
- Forgery in the Second Degree - NY PL 170.10
- Unlawful Use of a Credit Card – NY PL 165.17
Although these associated crimes are discussed in greater detail both through these links as well as on the specific pages for NY PL 155.30(4) and 165.45(2) above, some of them are "D" felonies. Instead of only a four year maximum term of imprisonment, the potential sentence for a "D" felony is up to seven years.
The Difference Between Credit Card Theft & Fake Credit Cards
As much as crimes involving theft and larceny have grown significantly over the years, all credit card fraud is not the same. An experienced New York criminal lawyer will be able to explain that the theft and possession of stolen credit cards is an "E" felony as described here. Possessing an altered, forged or fake credit card is an entirely different crime punishable by up to seven years in prison. If you have a credit card with a different account encoded on the strip, a changed name on the front or an entirely fraudulent copy of a debit card, then the crime would be Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 170.25.
Whether you are charged with Grand Larceny for stealing a debit card or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property for possessing a stolen credit card, the reality is that prosecutors and judges take these crimes more seriously than ever before. Is there a reason why you had the credit card? Did the police stop and search you illegally and, therefore, is the alleged stolen debit card not admissible against you? Should you mitigate your defense or was there merely a misunderstanding? Whatever your defense may be, consult with an experienced New York criminal lawyer to identify your best defense and move yourself forward.
To better understand the crimes involving credit card theft in New York, as well as other larceny crimes, a review of this site and CrottySaland.Com will provide you with ample information. Further content is available on the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com as well as the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com. Both of these blogs and websites are drafted and maintained by the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC.
Call the New York Grand Larceny & Credit Card Theft Lawyers at Crotty Saland PC at 212.312.7129 or Contact Us Online to Start Your Criminal Defense Now