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Acquire Access Card Law & Defense

PC 484e - 484i

The laws on the crimes of acquiring access cards, forging signatures on access cards, selling or transferring access cards, and producing access cards, are found at California Penal Code sections 484e through 484i. The crime of acquire access cards is more commonly known as credit card fraud or debit card fraud.

An access card is defined as a card, code, account number, or other means of account access that can be used, to obtain money, goods, or services, or can be used to transfer funds. Examples of access cards include automatic teller machine (ATM) cards, debit cards, and credit cards.

There are a wide variety of criminal laws concerning access cards. The two most common criminal charges of acquire access cards are found at PC 484e(a), selling access cards, and PC 484e(b), Acquire unlawful access cards.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of PC 484e(a), sell or transfer access cards, the district attorney will need to prove that the defendant:

  • Sold, transferred, or conveyed an access card, and
  • The defendant sold, transferred, or conveyed the access card without the consent of the cardholder or the issuer of the access card, and
  • When the defendant sold, transferred, or conveyed the access card, he or she intended to defraud another person.

To sell an access card means to to exchange the access card for something of value such as money or services.

The victim of access card fraud can be a person, a company, or even the government. 

Note: The district attorney does not need to prove that the defendant's sale of an access card actually lead to the defrauding of another person, entity, or government. The sale of the access card itself, with the intent to defraud, is sufficient to charge PC 484e(a).

Sentence for PC 484e Crimes

PC 484e(a) may be filed as a felony or as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of felony PC 484e(a), sale of access card, the defendant may face up to three years in prison.

If found guilty of misdemeanor PC 484e(a), the defendant may face up to one hundred eighty days in the county jail.

Whether the district attorney files felony or misdemeanor charges of PC 484e(a) depends on the amount of the fraud that was intended by the defendant. Felony PC 484e(a) is filed where the amount that was intended to be sold on an access card is over nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).

For the charge of acquiring unlawful access cards, charged as PC 484e(b), the defendant may face the same punishment as the punishment listed above for PC 484e(a).

The difference in the criminal charge between PC 484e(a) and PC 484e(b) is simply the difference between whether or not the defendant sold the illegal access card, which is charged as PC 484e(a), or whether or not the defendant received the access card, which is charged as PC 484e(b). Therefore, both the person who sold the access card, as well the person who received the access card, may be charged under PC 484e.

Defenses to PC 484e Crimes

Common defenses to PC 484e charges include: insufficient evidence, suppression of evidence, coerced confessions, statute of limitations, mistake of fact, and more. 

For more information on the common defenses to PC 484e, please visit defenses.

If you have been charged with the crime of acquire access cards (credit card fraud and debit card fraud), or PC 484e(a) through 484i(c), including common defenses PC 484e crimes, contact our criminal defense attorneys without delay for a free consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys will explain your rights and defense options.

Note: In some cases of PC 484e charges a criminal defense attorney may attend court for you without the need for your to appear in court. Call today!


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PC 484e Crimes: Credit and Debit Card Fraud

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PC 484e: Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys

All Misdemeanor & Felony Crimes, Including

Other Acquire Access Card Crimes Include

  • PC 484e(a) Selling access cards
  • PC 484e(b) Acquire unlawful access cards
  • PC 484e(c) Acquire access card information
  • PC 484f(a) Forge or alter access cards
  • PC 484g Unauthorized use of access card
  • PC 484i(c) Counterfeit access cards
  • PC 530.5 Identity theft

Acquire Access Card Law & Defense PC 484e through 484i


Law Office of Christopher Dorado 1030 Nevada Street. Suite 105 Redlands, CA. 92374 

Criminal Defense Attorney serving Redlands, Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Yucaipa, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Victorville, Riverside, & More.