Although not one of the more commonly charged crimes in the New York Penal Law, Unlawful Use of a Credit Card or Debit Card is still a serious offense. In fact, New York Penal Law 165.17 is an “A” misdemeanor. If convicted of Unlawful Use of a Debit Card or Credit Card you can face up to one year in jail. Moreover, while there are numerous collateral consequences to your career, licensing and immigration status, should police arrest you for violating NY PL 165.17 it is important to understand that a conviction for this crime will not be expunged or later sanitized from your record. All of these factors should be thoroughly discussed with your criminal lawyer.
Understanding the potential punishment for violating NY PL 165.17, it is equally or even more important to have a firm grasp on the elements of this crime. You are guilty of Unlawful Use of a Credit Card or Debit Card if while you are attempting to obtain property (make a purchase) or service (pay for a meal), you use or merely display a credit card or debit card that you know is revoked or cancelled.
On its face, there is one important fact that you should recognize. The statute makes the specified behavior a crime even if you are not successful in obtaining the service or property. You are guilty if you merely make an attempt. Having said that, there may be practical issues prosecutors will encounter if and when you are charged with this crime. For example, how will prosecutors establish your knowledge of the debit card’s cancellation or revocation? Without your admission of guilt to sabotage you, is it possible that you were unaware? Certainly, this may be the case. Unfortunately, if the prosecution seeks to investigate the allegations further, they may have the ability through the use of subpoenas to ascertain when the credit was revoked or cancelled. This factor will likely be relevant in their charging decision.
As noted, Unlawful Use of a Credit Card or Debit Card may not be the most serious crime in the prosecutor’s playbook, but one that is absolutely worthy of addressing with your criminal attorney. Not only will a conviction remain on your record, but this crime may be charged with greater felony offenses with terms of incarceration of up to seven years. These credit card and debit card crimes involving the use or possession of stolen credit cards and the possession of forged or fake debit cards include:
Whatever credit card crime you face, doing so with inexperienced counsel can result in a life altering conviction. Put yourself in the best place possible to educate yourself on the law, identify your best defense and put that defense into motion. The New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC are ready and able to assist you in doing just that.
To further educate yourself on these and other white collar crimes found in the New York Penal Law, please review this website as well as CrottySaland.Com. Additionally, analysis of criminal statutes, cases in the news and legal decisions are available on the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com and NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com.