Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device: NY Penal Law 190.85
I was arrested for skimming credit cards at a restaurant and bar in New York City. The NYPD arrested me for attaching a skimmer device to an ATM in Brooklyn. I was arrested…As you can tell, even with only mentioning two possible scenarios, “skimming” at the gas pump, bank or other location whether by stationary device or a hand held debit card skimmer, is a serious crime. While a “mere” misdemeanor, the penalty and punishment for a New York Penal Law 190.85, Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device, conviction is up to one year in jail. That said, the crime is routinely prosecuted alongside more serious felonies including varying degrees of Grand Larceny and Identity Theft. However, have no misgivings as to the severity of a PL 190.85 arrest whether alone on a Desk Appearance Ticket or as part of a larger felony complaint. As your criminal defense attorney will advise, an arrest for Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device is not only an inerasable part of your criminal record upon conviction, but your criminal lawyer should share another message with you. A conviction for Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device in New York can trigger complications with your legal and immigration status, certifications or licenses you hold in your profession and your everyday employability.
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Neither your criminal lawyer nor the District Attorney will argue that possession by itself of a credit card skimmer or other skimmer device is per se or automatically illegal in New York. There are is another or additional components and elements of PL 190.85.
You are guilty of Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device in the Second Degree, PL 190.85, if you possess a skimmer device with an intent to use it in the furtherance of any degree of Identity Theft or Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information. Moreover, the skimmer device in question must comply with PL 190.85(2)’s statutory definition. A “skimmer device” is any device designed or adapted to obtain personal identifying information from a credit card, debit card, access card or other card or device that contains personal identifying information.
Maybe the police recovered a credit card skimmer from your vehicle after you were stopped for failing to use a turn signal while driving in lower Manhattan. Alternatively, the District Attorney is prosecuting you for having bogus credit cards imprinted with another person’s credit card account and at the time of your arrest in Queens you also had a credit card skimmer. Another possible situation, you were arrested after retrieving a skimmer from an ATM or similar bank machine. Certainly, if you are caught in the act of using a skimmer consistent with the New York Penal Law it is a much more difficult defense than if you skimming device was the only “contraband” you possessed. That said, how are prosecutors proving your intent? If you were not caught in the act or there is no other indicia of furthering Identity Theft or Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information, what evidence of wrongdoing do the police have, and, for that matter, what was the legal basis for their search and ultimate seizure?
In lieu of going through different possible defenses to every type of alleged illegal activity one could think of as it relates to PL 190.85, your defense is best vetted with your criminal defense lawyer who can take the time and expend the necessary energy to review your case. If you are juggling more serious felony crimes, while Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device may be only a piece of your puzzle, as much as you can whittle away from an indictment or felony complaint, the better your defense and potential disposition.
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Be neither naïve, paralyzed by fear, nor delayed in your defense. Because there is no substitute for knowledge, experience and advocacy, let the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law lead you through the criminal justice system to best resolve your arrest for Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Skimmer Device.
Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors.