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New York Penal Law 165.45(2): Criminal Possession of Stolen Credit Cards

There are few crimes as easily prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys in New York than those crimes relating to possessing stolen credit cards and debit cards or stealing credit cards and debit cards. Both "E" felonies punishable by up to four years in prison, the theft of a credit card is codified under New York Penal Law 155.30(4) while the possession of a stolen credit card is codified under New York Penal Law 165.45(2). The reason for the ease at which prosecutors charge this offense, and criminal lawyers have some level of difficulty, is that often time the possession of a stolen credit card or theft of a debit card is not a directly intentional act.

Simply put, if you steal or possesses a stolen credit or debit card, then you have committed the felony crimes of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree respectively. The difficulty arises where you steal, for example, a bag that was resting on the back of a chair in a lounge or restaurant. In that bag there are a few dollars, a cell phone and a wallet with a credit card. On its face, there is little value stolen. Moreover, while you may have intended to steal the bag, you had no knowledge of the credit card or any other contents. Here, the law is clear. That is, as long as you intended to steal that bag and its contents, you need not have the knowledge or awareness that the bag contained the credit card. What may have been a misdemeanor as far as loss value is now a "bumped up" felony crime of NY PL 165.45(2).

Other difficulties that defendants and their criminal lawyers face in Criminal Possession of Stolen Property arrests can be found in New York Penal Law 165.55. According to this statute, if you knowingly possess any stolen property (including a debit or credit card), there is a presumption in that law that states that you possessed the property with the intent to benefit yourself or to impede the owner's recovery of that property. Even more concerning, NY PL 165.55(3) states that if you possess two or more debit cards or credit cards that are stolen, a judge or jury can presume that you knew that such cards were stolen. In this type of a case, prosecutors may be able to combat your claim that you merely found the cards or someone else placed them in your possession.

Although the above presumptions make defending cases of credit card and debit card theft difficult, there are often fruitful avenues to explore in terms of establishing a viable criminal defense. The New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors who founded Saland Law have successfully prosecuted and defended those charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree and have this knowledge and "real world" experience. Because procrastinating to find experienced counsel or ignoring your arrest is only going to compound your predicament, take the proper steps to best secure your future. Review the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com as well as the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com to educate yourself on legal decisions, statutes and cases in the news that have a direct impact on Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Upon doing so, contact our New York criminal lawyers so you can begin the process of protecting your freedom, livelihood and future.

Call the New York Grand Larceny & Credit Card Theft Attorneys at Saland Law at 212.312.7129 or Contact Us Online to Start Your Criminal Defense Now

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From the moment I contacted Jeremy Saland he inspired trust and confidence. His honesty and extensive knowledge about the court process made me feel like I was in good hands. He helped make a stressful and difficult experience more manageable and tolerable by clearly informing me on the legal steps we had to take and knowing exactly what to expect for our day in court. Thank you for your professionalism and help Jeremy! I will be eternally grateful. Alexandra
I was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny. I was filmed on surveillance camera and the police was trying to find me for several days. Although I had to spend the night in prison/ tombs he was able to set me free the next morning without bail. A court date was set for August but he was able to negotiate with the DA and after only three weeks I had to appear before court, pay a restitution fine and was sentenced with an ACD for a period of 6 months. Alex
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