Credit Card Crimes are Taken Seriously in Oklahoma
Oklahoma credit card fraud and theft crimes are codified under a group of statutes intended to prevent unauthorized possession and use of credit and debit cards.
Most Oklahoma credit card crimes are charged under the Credit Card Crime Act of 1970. Oklahoma criminal law in some instances mandates felony penalties for credit card crimes.
Taking or Receiving a Taken Credit or Debit Card
In Oklahoma credit card theft is defined as:
- the taking of a credit card or debit card from a person or from their possession, custody, or control without the cardholder’s consent, or
- receiving a credit or debit card knowing that it has been taken,
- with the intent to use it, sell it, or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder.
Credit card theft includes obtaining the card by any sort of larceny, embezzlement, obtaining the card by false pretenses, or in any manner without the consent of the cardholder or issuer.
A person possessing a stolen credit or debit card is presumed to have stolen the card. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.22
Merely picking up a person’s credit or debit card and pocketing it may subject you to serious consequences.
Most often, though, this crime is charged when a wallet or its contents have been stolen and are being used or sold to another.
Receiving or Holding a Lost or Mislaid Card
In Oklahoma, receiving or holding a lost or mislaid credit or debit card is defined as:
- receiving, holding, or concealing a lost or mislaid credit or debit card and
- appropriating it for unauthorized use,
- under circumstances in which either the identity of the true owner is clear or
- under circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inquiry into the identity of the true owner. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.23
This may happen in a restaurant, for example. A credit card is accidentally left behind by its owner and instead of returning the card to its owner, a restaurant employee either uses the card or keeps it to use. Returning the card to either the card owner or card issuer is a safer solution in this instance.
Likewise, in Oklahoma it is illegal to buy or sell a credit or debit card. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.24
Selling a credit or debit card that belongs to another under circumstances in which the seller either knows or has reason to know that the card was stolen is also illegal. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.26
Forging, False Making, or Embossing of a Credit or Debit Card
Oklahoma defines false making or embossing of a credit or debit card as making or drawing a device or instrument which falsely purports to be a credit or debit card, with the intent to defraud another.
A person who falsely embosses a credit or debit card when a person, without the issuer’s authorization, completes the card by adding matter to the card which an issuer requires to appear on the card before use. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.27
Likewise, using a false or revoked card to obtain goods or services is a violation of Oklahoma law. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.29
Penalties For Violations of the Credit Card Act
A misdemeanor under the Credit Card Act is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail, or both. A felony under the Credit Card Act is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
A person receiving goods or services worth $1,000 or more as a result of credit card fraud may be convicted of a felony, fined up to $3,000, and sentenced to up to three years in jail. If the value is less than $1,000, a person may be convicted of a misdemeanor, fined up to $1,000, and serve up to a year in jail.
In addition, if the illegal act involves the taking of money or property on a recurring basis, credit card offenses may be aggregated so that a felony charge may result. For the purpose of establishing recurring credit card fraud, the prosecution may examine all acts of taking to help establish the intent to commit a continuing crime. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1550.33
Free Consultation with a Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney
Credit card crimes are treated harshly in Oklahoma courts. There are defenses to these crimes that you should explore with your attorney. Lack of intent, a mistake, and permission are all possible defenses. Be certain to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will work hard to protect you and your freedom. Small facts may make a big difference in your defense.
Wirth Law Office’s team of defense lawyers are among the criminal defense attorneys Tulsa trusts to stand up against spurious criminal charges or to negotiate just outcomes for clients who knowingly ran afoul of the law.
Our Tulsa criminal defense attorneys know how to discover details that can make a significant impact in the outcome of criminal charges. Your initial consultation is free.
Call the Wirth Law Office-Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.