What Is 14:70.4 Access Device Fraud and What to Do If You Are Charged
Did you know that 86.5% of Americans use their smartphone to check their bank balance? It’s an easy way to pay your bills and keep an eye out on the status of your finances.
With different ways to access your bank account, there come different ways you can be charged with access device fraud. Access device fraud is a form of identity theft where important personal information is stolen through fraudulent means. Personal information is then used for economic gain.
If you have been charged with access device fraud in Louisiana, you’re probably wondering what you need to do next. You have come to the right place. Keep on reading for a detailed guide on what is access device fraud and what to do if you’re charged in Louisiana.
What Is an Access Device?
The first thing you need to understand is what is an “access device”. An access device is defined in RS 14:70.4. Essentially, an access device is any means that allows access to certain personal information, including:
- Social security number
- Driver’s license number
- Mother’s maiden name
- Digital signatures
- Any other means of account access
With changing technology, the application of these rules is broader than you would think. The main idea behind access device fraud laws is to ensure that people are not using credit cards, debit cards, or other means of account access to get into someone else’s account and transfer money for their own economic gain.
What Is Access Device Fraud?
Access device fraud is when you use or transfer an access device without authorization and with an intent to defraud. Transfer means to sell, give, provide or transmit. This also includes using instruments or mechanisms to make an access device or counterfeit access device.
Credit card fraud also falls under access device fraud. Credit card fraud can include:
- Getting access to online accounts
- Lost and stolen cards
- False credit card applications
- Lost credit card applications
“Counterfeit access device” includes forging or altering information to access another person’s access device. You can be charged with access device fraud even for something as simple as using your friend’s credit card without their permission.
Remember that you can get charged with more than one type of fraud, including access device fraud, forgery, or identity theft. They have different penalties and defenses, so you need to understand exactly what are your charges. Your access device fraud lawyer can help you navigate through the various charges and penalties.
What Are Access Device Fraud Punishments?
Access device fraud punishments depend on the amount of money that was stolen. For more than $1,500, you can be dealing with:
- Imprisonment, with or without labor, for up to 10 years
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Both imprisonment and fines
For amounts stolen from $500 to $1,500, you can be imprisoned for not more than 5 years and fined up to $3,000. For amounts stolen less than $500, you can go to jail for not more than 6 months and fined up to $500. In addition to penalties, the court will order you to enter into a payment plan to pay back any amounts you are charged with stealing.
What to Do if You Are Charged in Louisiana?
If the police charge you with access device fraud, you need to stay calm and contact an access device fraud lawyer. A professional and competent access device fraud lawyer can brainstorm strategies with you and come up with the best approach for your situation.
Remember to stay calm and remain polite. Avoiding confrontation with officers can make it easier for your lawyer. Rather than waiting, maintain your silence and contact your lawyer immediately.
One of the defenses your access device fraud lawyer can put forward is that you made an honest mistake. You should try to make sure you have evidence and support that you can share with your lawyer. If you made an honest mistake, it shows that you didn’t have the intent to defraud.
Another defense is that you had the authority to access the account. Maybe it was for work or for a friend, you need to be able to point to evidence in support of this claim. Your lawyer will walk you through the situation, ask questions, and help to understand the reality of the situation.
No Intent to Defraud
Another way to approach access device fraud charges is to show that you didn’t have any intention of defrauding anyone. Argued correctly, this can get your charges cleared.
The prosecutor will need to show that you had the intention to cause harm, defraud or obtain economic gain from the transaction. Your lawyer will argue otherwise to show that you had no such intention.
If there’s a history of mental illness, then your lawyer can put that forward as well. They can use that history to show that you did not have an intent to defraud. Mental illness can be wide-ranging including personality disorders, insanity, or mental impairment.
You would need to show that you didn’t know the nature of your conduct, or you didn’t know that your conduct was wrong. Access device fraud laws understand that you cannot be held responsible if you didn’t have the capacity to form criminal intent.
Contact Your Access Device Fraud Lawyer Today
Now you know exactly what to do if you get charged with access device fraud. You also understand what access device fraud is, and what factors need to exist for the police to charge you with access device fraud. If you do get charged, you have to pay fines or even go to jail.
In such cases, you want to make sure that you are well-represented. With experienced access device fraud lawyers by your side, you can put your best foot forward and have a good chance of a reduced sentence or even getting off free. If you’re looking for a criminal attorney in Shreveport, New Orleans, Covington, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Livingston, or Ascension, contact us to schedule a consultation today.