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California Acquire Access Card Law & Defense

California Penal Code sections 484e through 484i

The laws on the crimes of acquiring illegal access cards, forging signatures on access cards, selling or transferring access cards, and producing access cards is found at California Penal Code sections 484e through 484i.

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, and credit cards.

There are a wide variety of laws concerning access cards; this article is dedicated to the most common criminal charges of acquiring access cards, which are found at California Penal Code section 484e(a) selling access cards, and Penal Code section 484e(b) Acquire unlawful access cards. For more information about other types of illegal acquisition and possession of illegal access cards see the notes at the end of this article.

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

1) Sold, transferred, or conveyed an access card, and

2) The defendant sold, transferred, or conveyed the access card without the consent of the cardholder or the issuer of the access card, and

3) 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 the PC 484e(a) crime.

PC 484e(a) may be filed as a felony offense or as a misdemeanor offense. If found guilty of felony PC 484e(a), sale of access card, the defendant may face up to three years in jail. If found guilty of misdemeanor PC 484e(a), sale of access card, the defendant may face up to one hundred eighty days in the county jail.

Whether the district attorney files felony or misdemeanor charges under 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, filed under 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 (PC 484e(a)), or whether he or she received the illegal access card (PC 484e(b)). Therefore, both the defendant who sold the access card, as well the defendant who received the access card, may be charged under PC 484e(a).

Common defenses to PC 484e(a) charges include insufficient evidence, suppression of evidence, statute of limitations, and more. Note: The statue of limitations for felony PC 484e(a) charges is three years; the statute of limitations for misdemeanor PC 484e(a) charges is one year. 

To learn more about the crime of acquiring access cards and California Penal Code section 484e(a) through 484i(c), including possible defenses to the crime of acquiring access cards, contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today. 

Attorney Dorado will explain to you or your loved ones the law of PC 484e and your criminal defense options. 100% percent of attorney Dorado's practice is devoted to criminal defense and initial in-office consultations are provided at no charge. In some cases of PC 484e(a) charges a criminal defense attorney may attend court for the defendant without the defendant needing to appear. Call today!


PC 484e: Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys

All Misdemeanor & Felony Crimes, Including

  • Accessory
  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Burglary
  • Conspiracy
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Criminal Threats
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drunk in Public
  • DUI
  • Elder Theft
  • Evading
  • Forgery
  • Hit & Run
  • Identity Theft
  • Kidnapping
  • Lewd Acts
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Perjury
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Shoplifting
  • Stalking
  • Vandalism
  • Vehilce Theft
  • Welfare Fraud

Related Crime to Acquire Access Cards, Include:

Selling access cards PC 484e(a)

Acquire unlawful access cards PC 484e(b)

Acquire access card information PC 484e(c)

Forge or alter access cards PC 484f(a)

Unauthorized use of access card PC 484g

Knowingly honor illegal access card PC 484h(a)

Counterfeit access cards PC 484i(c)

Forged Driver's License PC 470

Identity Theft PC 530.5

California Crime of Acquiring an Access Card Law & Defense PC 484e through 484i

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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, and surround cities