Credit Card Abuse is a very common offense. Oftentimes when a wallet or purse is stolen or misplaced, an opportunistic thief will use the credit cards within the wallet/purse and charge them up. It is important to understand that using another's credit card without his permission is a felony, regardless of how little is actually charged to the card. It is called a State Jail Felony and the range of punishment is from 6 months to 2 years in a state jail facility (which is not the same as the penitentiary). While the state jail is not quite the pen, one thing that must be kept in mind is that there is no "good time" given in a state jail sentence. That is, if you get sentenced to do 15 months in the state jail, you will do every single day of that 15 months. There is no "2 for 1 credit" like you hear about in county jails, or parole, like you hear about in penitentiaries.
Credit Card Abuse is often prosecuted after a police detective has had an interview with the person accused. Sometimes, the only way the State can make its case is through the use of the confession obtained in that interview. If you are contacted by a law enforcement officer regarding a credit card investigation, you should stop the communication and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. These investigators will attempt to set up an interview and they are often very insistent. Most people do not realize that they do not have to interview with the police officer.
When my office receives these cases, it is often after a person has been contacted by a detective. I will then get the name and number of the detective and speak with him regarding the case. I then make a determination whether having my client speak to the investigator is in my client's best interests. Either way, I will be with my client throughout the entire process, advising him and ensuring that his rights are protected at all times. Before any decision is made, I will make sure my client knows all the evidence against him so that we can make an intelligent decision that will result in the best possible outcome. If there is not enough evidence against my client, I will advise that we go to trial and force the State to prove the allegations to a jury.