Unauthorized Use Of A Financial Transaction Device in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 5 – 702 – Unauthorized Use Of A Financial Transaction Device

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-5-702. Unauthorized use of a financial transaction device

(1) A person commits unauthorized use of a financial transaction device if he uses such device for the purpose of obtaining cash, credit, property, or services or for making financial payment, with intent to defraud, and with notice that either:

(a) The financial transaction device has expired, has been revoked, or has been cancelled; or

(b) For any reason his use of the financial transaction device is unauthorized either by the issuer thereof or by the account holder.

(2) For purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of this section, “notice” includes either notice given in person or notice given in writing to the account holder. The sending of a notice in writing by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly stamped and addressed to such account holder at his last address known to the issuer, evidenced by a signed returned receipt signed by the account holder, is prima facie evidence that the notice was received.

(3) Unauthorized use of a financial transaction device is:

(a) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2007, p. 1695, § 13, effective July 1, 2007.)

(b) A class 1 misdemeanor if the value of the cash, credit, property, or services obtained or of the financial payments made is less than one thousand dollars;

(c) A class 5 felony if the value of the cash, credit, property, or services obtained or of the financial payments made is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars;

(d) A class 3 felony if the value of the cash, credit, property, or services obtained or of the financial payments made is twenty thousand dollars or more.

(4) The value of the cash, credit, property, or services obtained and the financial payments made shall be the total value of the cash, credit, property, or services obtained or financial payments made by unauthorized use of a single financial transaction device within a six-month period from the date of the first unauthorized use.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Criminal Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.


Colorado Penalties for Unauthorized Use Of A Financial Transaction Device

Penalties

The charge of Unauthorized Use Of A Financial Transaction Device, is categorized as a:

F3, if value is $20,000 or more
F5, if value is $1,000 to $20,000
M1, if value is less than $1,000
F3, if value is $15,000 or more
F5, if value is $500 to $15,000
M2, if value is $100 to $500
PO1, if value is less than $100

Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Unauthorized Use Of A Financial Transaction Device below. These will be adapted by your Denver Colorado Attorney for your case.

The elements of the crime of unauthorized use of a financial transaction device are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. with the intent to defraud, a. used a financial transaction device b. for the purpose of [obtaining cash, credit, property, or services] [making a financial payment], and 4. with notice that [the financial transaction device has expired, been revoked, or been cancelled] [his/her use of the financial transaction device is unauthorized by the issuer or account holder], and 5. the [value] [aggregate value within a six-month period from the date of the first unauthorized use] was [less than one thousand dollars] [one thousand dollars or more, but less than twenty thousand dollars] [twenty thousand dollars or more]. the [value] [aggregate value within a six-month period from the date of the first unauthorized use] was [less than one hundred dollars] [one hundred dollars or more, but less than five hundred dollars] [five hundred dollars or more, but less than fifteen thousand dollars] [fifteen thousand dollars or more]. 6. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number .] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. NOTES ON USE The values changed for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2007. When the value or aggregate value is in dispute, more than one alternative may be given. In such case, a special verdict form shall be provided, upon which the jury shall indicate its unanimous finding as to value of instruction on lesser included offenses may be given.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your CO Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Unauthorized Use Of A Financial Transaction Device.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca