Credit card or debit card abuse under state law in Texas is more commonly known simply as credit card fraud. As more people become increasingly reliant on credit, debit, and other automated teller machine (ATM) card for transactions conducted in person and online, alleged credit card fraud accounts for a significant number of white-collar offenses.
Credit card fraud is a felony offense that can result in serious penalties, including significant fines and time in prison. It is not uncommon for people to be charged with this crime after using a debit or credit card that they believed they were authorized to use.
Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for alleged credit or debit card fraud in Denton County? Even if you are completely confident in your innocence, do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today.
Denton criminal defense attorneys Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton represent clients accused of white-collar crimes in communities throughout Denton County, including Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville, Little Elm, The Colony, Argyle, and many others. Call 940-222-8004 right now to have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.
Under Texas Penal Code § 32.31, an alleged offender commits credit card or debit card abuse if:
Any of the offenses listed above is a state jail felony, although a crime can become a third-degree felony if the alleged offense was committed against an elderly individual. An elderly person is defined under Texas Penal Code § 22.04 as a person 65 years of age or older.
Another offense related to credit fraud that a person may be charged with is false statement to obtain property or credit or in the provision of certain services. Under Texas Penal Code § 32.32, an alleged offender commits this offense if he or she intentionally or knowingly makes a materially false or misleading written statement to obtain property or credit—which is defined in this statute as including a credit card or a loan of money, furnishing property or service on credit, extending the due date of an obligation, comaking, endorsing, or guaranteeing a note or other instrument for obtaining credit, a line or letter of credit, or a mortgage loan.
False statement to obtain property or credit offenses are graded according to the value of the property or the amount of credit involved. Such crimes are classified as follows:
A person could also be charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information under Texas Penal Code § 32.51 if he or she, with the intent to harm or defraud another, obtains, possesses, transfers, or uses an item of identifying information of another person without the other person's consent. Identifying information is defined as information that alone or in conjunction with other information identifies a person, including a person's name and date of birth; unique biometric data, including the person's fingerprint, voice print, or retina or iris image; unique electronic identification number, address, routing code, or financial institution account number; telecommunication identifying information or access device; and social security number or other government-issued identification number.
A telecommunication access device can mean a credit card or any other card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier or means of account access that alone or in conjunction with another telecommunication access device may be used to obtain money, goods, services, or other thing of value, or initiate a transfer of funds other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument.
The number of items allegedly obtained, possessed, transferred, or used determines the grade of the alleged offense. Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information are generally classified as follows:
Convictions for the credit card fraud offenses listed above may be punishable by one of the following sentences, depending on the classification of the alleged crime:
In addition to the fines listed above, alleged offenders may also be ordered to pay restitution to alleged victims.
Consumer Protection | Credit Cards | Texas Attorney General — Visit this section of the attorney general’s website to learn more about protecting your credit cards. You can find steps to take to protect your credit card information and what to do if your credit card is stolen. You can also learn how to file a consumer complaint against a credit card company.
Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud | Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — The mission of the FTC is to “prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers; to enhance informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process; and to accomplish this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.” On this section of the FTC website, you can learn more about how credit card fraud happens and what you can do if you become a victim. You can also find information relating to credit card loss protection and lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
If you were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation anywhere in Denton County for alleged credit or debit card fraud, it is in your best interest to avoid making any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends individuals accused of these offenses in The Colony, Little Elm, Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound, Argyle, and many surrounding areas of Denton County.
Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Denton who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. They will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call 940-222-8004 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.
I can’t say enough great things about the attorneys at this law firm. Within a few months they had my case, which I thought I was going to lose, dismissed and put my life back on track. I would recommend their firm to anyone and everyone who is in need of legal help.Leslie L. Denton County DWI
A few months before I moved out of Texas, I was arrested for DWI. The problem was I was building a new life in another state with greater opportunities. I needed to find an attorney to handle my special situation being an out of state client who also travels out of the country. My case was in Denton County, which I have heard is a very difficult county to deal with. Because of my job I was in need of special accommodations from the court so I would not lose my career. After several months of tough negotiations with the DA, Richard and Brian were able to finalize my case beyond my expectations. I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who has run into some trouble anywhere they might get a DWI.Stephanie C. Denton County DWI