Unauthorized use of a credit card or debit card happens in this day and age. The same applies to the unauthorized possession of such financial instruments.
Sometimes, it can happen accidentally. However, this is usually a type of fraud or theft. And Creek County, Oklahoma courts are cracking down on this crime.
Unauthorized Use of a Credit Card Defined
At its heart, this crime is grounded in the lack of permission to:
- use another person’s credit or debit card for the purpose of obtaining credit; or
- for the purchase of goods, property, or services; or
- for the purpose of obtaining cash advances; or
- to deposit, obtain, or transfer funds.
In Sapulpa, unauthorized use of a credit card or debit card is illegal. Also, it is illegal to attempt to do so.
Oklahoma also makes it illegal for any person to use a credit or debit card once it has been revoked or canceled by the issuer and the issuer has given actual notice to the cardholder. If your credit card company cancels your card, sends you a letter about it, and you use the card, you will have committed a crime.
Finally, the law also forbids the use of a fake or counterfeit credit or debit card. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.2
Misdemeanor or Felony?
In Oklahoma, the unauthorized use of a credit card or debit card may be treated as a misdemeanor if the amount involved is $500 or less. In that case, if convicted, a defendant may face up to 30 days in jail, a fine of 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.
The same law applies to the unauthorized possession of a credit card or debit card in Oklahoma.
A Defendant Could Face Felony Charges
The Oklahoma Credit Card Act makes a number of actions involving credit cards constitute felony offenses.
For example, picking someone’s credit card and pocketing it to use later can be a felony crime. Likewise, if the amount of the transaction involves $1,000 or more, you could be facing a felony charge.
And to make it easier for prosecutors, the transaction amounts can be added together to meet this threshold amount. That means that if you use someone’s else’s credit card or debit card to make periodic charges or withdrawals from their account, those smaller amounts can be added together to get to that $1,000 felony level.
If you are facing a felony charge, you could face up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $3,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.33
You Could Also Be Charged with Identity Theft
The hallmark of identity theft is getting and using certain identifying information about another person to commit fraud. This could be a person’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, or the like. These identifiers can be used by a person to get a credit card in that person’s name or engage in other types of fraud to better their own financial situation. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1533.1
If you are convicted of identity theft, you could face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
There are defenses to these crimes. Your attorney will know which defenses will be applicable to your situation. The most common are having permission to use the card, and not using the card knowingly.
Free Consultation: Sapulpa Criminal Defense Attorney
Wirth Law Office – Sapulpa has the legal services you need for your unique situation.
For a free and confidential consultation with a Sapulpa criminal defense attorney, call 918-248-0067.
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