Passion, Knowledge & Experience
Innocent and Facing Charges That Would Have Ruined My Life
Using somebody else's credit, debit, or benefits card - even if you have their permission - is fraught with peril. Virtually every client who comes to us charged with this type of crime starts off by saying, "But (s)he gave me permission to use the card... I even have the pin number!"
A typical scenario is that the cardholder gives somebody permission to use a card for a specific purpose, and then one of three things happens:
- the person with permission to use the card either uses it to pay for something that the cardholder did not specifically authorize (leading to a police report); or
- the person who gave you the card changes their mind and decides to file a police report; or
- the person who thought they had permission to use a card takes (or is even given) the wrong card, and when the wrong card is a business card, the card holder's employer becomes involved and threatens to fire the card holder (leading to a police report).
In the first and second situations, having a pin number isn't going to help you. You are going to get charged with a felony count of grand larceny (because larceny involving a credit card is a felony), as well as (possibly) identity theft, and possession of stolen property.
In the third situation you aren't going to have a pin number, so you are still in the same boatload of trouble. And all this trouble may have started because, instead of just going to the grocery store and buying groceries, you also stopped and bought two subs on the way home. (True story.)
If you are stopped for questioning by police for this, or any other crime, don't talk to them. You have the right to remain silent. Ask for a lawyer. It's amazing how much damage control an attorney can do when (1) a client comes to us before talking to police, versus (2) after giving a statement to police.
Looking back over the last ten years, not one client who talked to me before talking to police was subsequently arrested for the crimes being investigated. So please, talk to a lawyer as soon as you think you might have a problem.
You can reach the criminal defense attorneys at The Militello Law Firm by calling (585) 485-0025.