Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device

Skimmer devices come in different shapes, sizes and varied degrees of technological sophistication. Without your knowledge, a skimmer of some kind can be affixed to a gas station pump in Queens or a cash register in Brooklyn. You might have no idea, but when you slid your debit card into an ATM machine at the Westchester Mall in White Plains, a skimmer device read and secured your account information. Simply, there are countless means skimming devices are used from skimmers in the hands of a waiter or bartender at an upscale Manhattan eatery to a point of sale skimmer at Rockland County retailer.

Simply, no matter if you are NYC, the Hudson Valley or anywhere in the State of New York, no person is immune from becoming the victim of an Identity Theft crime. It is for this reason that criminal defense attorneys have their hands full when representing clients arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device pursuant to either New York Penal Law 190.85 or New York Penal Law 190.86. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor complaint charging you with violating Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device or you find yourself waiting for a Grand Jury to come back with an indictment for First Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device, know that criminal court judges and prosecutors alike will not shed a tear when holding you accountable for your alleged infractions.

Understanding the Law: Elements of Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device

A class “A” misdemeanor, if you are convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device in the Second Degree, there is real potential that you can find yourself incarcerated in a county or city jail such as Rikers Island for up to one year. Even if such a duration may not be realistic for a first-time offender, probation and other sanctions are available to a judge to best ensure you are accountable post-conviction. According to NY PL 190.85, you are guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device in the Second Degree when you possess a device for skimming. Is that all that is required to violate the New York Penal Law? No. Additionally, your purpose for possessing the skimming device must be to perpetrate, whether successful or not, certain crimes. These offenses are Identity Theft and Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information regardless of the degree.

A more serious crime, Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device in the First Degree, NY PL 190.86, is a felony offense and has many more direct and collateral consequences upon conviction beyond your exposure to four years in a New York State prison. If you commit the misdemeanor offense above and you have a prior conviction in the preceding five years for Identity Theft, Grand Larceny, Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information or Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device, prosecutors can elevate the crime. Keep in mind that if your prior offense was a felony as well, then you would be deemed a predicate felon mandating that your sentence would include a minimum of one and a half years in prison.

Any and all crimes involving identity related frauds are offenses that you should take seriously. Can the District Attorney or NYPD tie you back to a particular skimmer? What, if any information can law enforcement retrieve from the skimmer? For that matter, did you make any statements tying yourself to the skimming device or other crimes relating to Identity Theft? Whatever the accusation and evidence you now face, do not take the allegations and charges lightly. Should you do so, be prepared to own this mistake or to accept responsibility for a crime you did not commit for the rest of your life.

Because every arrest – whether strong or weak, true or false – demands the advocacy of experienced and knowledgeable criminal counsel, know that the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC are ready to navigate you through the criminal justice system with your best viable defense.

Call our New York Identity Theft criminal attorneys at (212) 312–7129 or contact us online today.

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