Law Office of David P. Shapiro - San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney




2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103

San Diego Credit Card Fraud Lawyer

If you have been accused of credit card fraud or identity theft in San Diego, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Credit card fraud charges are extremely serious and can carry heavy fines and potential prison time, especially for large-scale fraud schemes.

Our San Diego credit card fraud attorneys have years of combined experience defending clients against a wide range of fraud allegations – from unauthorized use of a credit card to sophisticated counterfeit operations. We understand the state and federal laws surrounding financial crimes and will thoroughly investigate the charges to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Our legal team will advocate for you and pursue all available defenses to protect your rights and future.

What is Credit Card Fraud?

This offense happens when someone makes unauthorized and fraudulent credit card transactions or misuses another’s information.

Credit card fraud charges usually follow:

  1. The unauthorized use of stolen credit cards.
  2. Skimming, which involves the illegal copying of credit card information.
  3. Phishing scams designed to deceive individuals into revealing their sensitive credit card details.
  4. The creation and use of counterfeit credit cards.

A credit card fraud conviction has severe consequences, ranging from criminal penalties such as misdemeanor or felony charges to substantial fines and restitution. 

Moreover, the long-term ramifications of a credit card fraud conviction are far-reaching. It can negatively impact your financial stability, and future opportunities to secure loans, housing, and employment.


Credit Card Fraud Charges in San Diego

California credit card fraud carries significant legal consequences. 

The specific charges and penalties you may face depend on the circumstances of your case and the following applicable California Penal Code sections.

Penal Code 484e (Theft of Access Card or Account Information)

This section covers stealing someone’s credit card or their account details. 

  • Petty theft (under $950): Potential incarceration of up to one years in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000 
  • Grand theft (exceeding $950): Misdemeanor or felony with potential jail time up to three years and a $5000 fine.

Penal Code 484f (Forgery of Access Cards)

Creating fake credit cards or altering existing ones. Forgery is a wobbler offense, meaning the courts can charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and your criminal history.

  • Misdemeanor: Potential of up to 1 year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. 
  • Felony: Same as above. 

Penal Code 484g (Fraudulent Use of Access Cards)

Covers using someone else’s credit card without their permission or using a fake or stolen credit card. Fraudulent use is also a wobbler offense.

  • Misdemeanor: Same as above. 
  • Felony: Same as above. 

Penal Code 484h (Retailer’s Misconduct Concerning Access Cards)

This statute applies to retailers who knowingly accept payment from a fraudulent credit card or access card. Prosecutors may try the retailer’s misconduct as a misdemeanor or felony.

  • Misdemeanor: Same as above. 
  • Felony: Same as above. 

Our credit card fraud lawyers help you understand which of the above charges apply in your case so you can develop a strong defense strategy early.


Building a Strong Credit Card Fraud Defense

To obtain an optimal case outcome, credit card fraud charges in San Diego require a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to craft a robust, tailored defense strategy around the circumstances of your arrest.

The Law Office of David P. Shapiro will explore several challenges to the charges against you, which may include:

  1. Demonstrating a lack of intent to defraud – a central element in proving credit card fraud.


  2. Investigating the possibility of mistaken identity thoroughly  – so you are not wrongfully accused.


  3. Examining evidence the prosecution presents – to identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, or gaps in their case.


  4. Scrutinizing the actions of law enforcement and the prosecution for any signs of misconduct – to discover whether violations of your constitutional rights exist.

Sometimes, the prosecution may negotiate with your San Diego credit card fraud lawyer to reduce the charges against you. Your legal defense counsel may also secure alternative sentencing options that minimize the impact on your life and future. 

However, when a trial becomes necessary, your attorney will be well-prepared to present a compelling defense on your behalf, utilizing his or her extensive knowledge of the law and courtroom experience to advocate for your best interests.

How a San Diego Credit Card Fraud Attorney Can Help

Retaining a recognized San Diego credit card fraud attorney significantly influences your chances of reducing or dismissing charges or an acquittal in court.

Your lawyer will:

  • Interview witnesses and consult with experts to build a strong foundation for your defense.


  • Safeguard your rights throughout the legal process so the criminal justice system treats you fairly and in accordance with the protections afforded by the law.


  • Provide personalized advice and guidance based on the facts of your case, empowering you to make good decisions about your defense strategy.


  • Represent you skillfully in court proceedings and plea negotiations, advocating for your best interests and working to achieve a favorable case outcome.


  • Develop a comprehensive strategy to minimize the potential consequences of a conviction, such as exploring alternatives to incarceration, negotiating for reduced charges, or seeking dismissal of the case when appropriate.


Restitution in Credit Card Fraud Cases

Restitution plays a significant role in resolving the case in some credit card fraud cases. 

Restitution involves compensating the victims for their financial losses resulting from the alleged fraud. 

In this situation, the Law Office of David P. Shapiro can:

  • Negotiate with prosecutors to mitigate punishment or find other creative resolutions.t.
  • Argue for reduced charges or alternative sentencing in exchange for full restitution.
  • Help you understand your obligations and develop a feasible repayment plan and leverage payment of restitution to get a better outcome

You can sometimes mitigate the consequences of a credit card fraud conviction by demonstrating a willingness to make amends and compensate the victims.

Your attorney will work with you to explore a restitution option in your specific case and develop a strategy that prioritizes your interests while addressing the needs of the victims, all the while protecting your rights and interests

Why Early Intervention is Key in Fraud Cases

The criminal justice system waits for no one. So, time is of the essence when facing credit card fraud charges in San Diego.

You’ll have a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome when you involve a skilled criminal defense lawyer in your case, preferably when you suspect accusations might be made or soon after your arrest. 

Early intervention allows your attorney to:

  • Begin building a solid defense strategy from the outset.
  • Protect your constitutional rights during interactions with law enforcement and prosecutors.
  • Identify and preserve critical evidence that may support your case.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors before charges are formally filed, potentially reducing the severity of the charges or avoiding them altogether.

You can take proactive steps to safeguard your freedom and minimize the impact of credit card fraud allegations on your life when you know how the prosecution will proceed and the full extent of charges and penalties against you.

Why Choose The Law Office of David P. Shapiro

At The Law Office of David P. Shapiro, we understand the high stakes and what you’re going through right now.

Let us protect your future by:

  • Minimizing the impact of these charges on your life.


  • Exploring options for expungement or record sealing, when applicable.


  • Advocating for alternative sentencing options that prioritize rehabilitation and restitution over incarceration.


  • Providing guidance on setting your life back on track..

You can take proactive steps to mitigate the long-term effects of credit card fraud charges and move forward with your life after working closely with our criminal defense team and following our advice.

Don’t Face Credit Card Fraud Charges Alone

Credit card fraud charges in San Diego can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. But remember that the Law Office of David P. Shapiro is here to help.

Contact our criminal defense law firm to obtain the support, guidance, and representation you need to begin building a strong defense against your allegations.

With the right legal team by your side, you can face this challenge confidently and get past this unfortunate event in your life.


If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in California, swift action is imperative. The penalties can be life altering and long lasting. Give us a call today to set up a case evaluation with one of our attorneys and learn how to best protect your freedom and future. Too often, we see clients who “wait and see,” unsure of the legal landscape ahead, only for charges to escalate. They then find themselves backpedaling into a bad defense and an even worse lawyer. Don’t let that happen to you. Protect your freedom. Protect your future. Know your rights.

The contents of this article are meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.


Client Reviews

Real Clients Share Their Experience

“We found ourselves in a tough situation with our child facing a strike felony with a sentence of up to 7 years. I made several calls to find an attorney we were comfortable with but had not made a decision due to not really knowing what was to come and how fast the initial court date was scheduled from the time of arrest. We went to the first court date with a public defender and later received a call from Mr. Shapiro’s office to ask how things had gone (I had mentioned our court date the first time I called their office). When I received that call, I had plenty of questions that were answered without rush. We ended up scheduling a time to meet to discuss the case. We found out that Juvenile cases highly differ from adult cases when it comes to how they are handled, decision making, trial etc. We always felt comfortable, he worked with us on legal fees and was always very responsive whether it be emails or phone calls. We never felt brushed off. Our child was released, placed on probation and given the opportunity to have the record sealed after successful completion. We really feel that Mr. Shapiro truly cares about his clients and I would highly recommend him to anyone facing legal issues.”

— Avvo Review