Texas Credit Card/Debit Card Abuse Attorney
The act of taking or stealing another persons account information with the intention of either charging unauthorized purchases to the account or removing funds without the person consent is known as credit or debit card fraud. Most times, this is intertwined with identity theft, in which another person’s personal identifying information such as social security number (SSN), birth date, and street address are used to open an account or commit other types of fraud. Credit card or debit card abuse can either be charged as identity theft or a felony case in Texas.
With advancement in technology, the issue of credit card fraud has escalated in recent years. The crime is broadly classed to include credit card fraud, wrongful utilization of account number, and unlawful use of a credit card in Texas. Credit card cloning is the most common form of credit card theft, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all cases.
Cloning deals with swiping of legitimate card information with a dummy card. An avenue of using a lost or stolen card still accords for one-third of all credit card fraud cases. When an offender uses the data on a card, this is known as a no card fraud and makes up to 10% of all cases. Other types of abuse of credit card are non-receipt fraud and stealing of new cards in the mail.
Credit Card Fraud in Texas: Article 32.21 of the Penal Code
Under Article 32.21 of Texas Penal Code, Credit/Debit Card abuse states: a person commits credit card/debit card abuse if:
(1) with intent to obtain a benefit fraudulently, he presents or uses a credit card or debit card with knowledge that:
(A) the card, whether or not expired, has not been issued to him and is not used with the effective consent of the cardholder; or (B) the card has expired or has been revoked or canceled;
(2) with intent to obtain a benefit, he uses a fictitious credit card or debit card or the pretended number or description of a fictitious card;
(3) he receives a benefit that he knows has been obtained in violation of this section;
(4) he steals a credit card or debit card or, with the knowledge that it has been stolen, receives a credit card or debit card with intent to use it, to sell it, or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder;
(5) he buys a credit card or debit card from a person who he knows is not the issuer;
(6) not being the issuer, he sells a credit card or debit card;
(7) he uses or induces the cardholder to use the cardholder’s credit card or debit card to obtain property or service for the actor’s benefit for which the cardholder is financially unable to pay;
(8) not being the cardholder, and without the effective consent of the cardholder, he possesses a credit card or debit card with intent to use it;
(9) he possesses two or more incomplete credit cards or debit cards that have not been issued to him with intent to complete them without the effective consent of the issuer. For purposes of this subdivision, a card is incomplete if part of the matter that an issuer requires to appear on the card before it can be used, other than the signature of the cardholder, has not yet been stamped, embossed, imprinted, or written on it;
(10) being authorized by an issuer to furnish goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card, he, with intent to defraud the issuer or the cardholder, furnishes goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card obtained or retained in violation of this section or a credit card or debit card that is forged, expired, or revoked; or
(11) being authorized by an issuer to furnish goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card, he, with intent to defraud the issuer or a cardholder, fails to furnish goods or services that he represents in writing to the issuer that he has furnished.
Punishment for Credit Card/Debit Card Abuse in Texas
All offenses in this statute are charged as a state jail felony but charged as a third-degree felony if the crime was committed against an elderly individual as defined by Section 22.04 of the Texa Penal Code.
1. State Jail Felony: 6 months to 2 years in a state jail facility, fine of up to $10,000.
2. Third-degree felony: 2 to 10 years in state prison, fine of up to $10,000.
Defenses against Texas Credit Card Fraud Charges
A good defense against a credit card charge often revolves around the mental capacity of the defendant. The prosecutor (State) must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed, used, and sold the credit card of another person with intent to defraud. It is not impossible to find out that the accused is unaware the card was stolen or did not intend to use it fraudulently. The defense must carry out investigations around the act that shows a lack of intent by the accused. Another argument against credit card abuse charge is a mistaken identity that involves eyewitnesses. Others area of defense are;
- Lack of knowledge;
- Lack of intent;
- Duress (being coerced to perform a crime that you otherwise would not perform);
- Age (being a minor may lessen the penalty imposed).
The penalties for a charge of credit/debit card abuse can have harsh and serious ramifications. Fight to maintain a clean record, free from misdemeanor charges, by seeking experienced representation from a criminal defense lawyer. Contact The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, to speak with a lawyer who has over a decade of experience solely dedicated to defending clients in Texas.
The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC can help answer any and all questions you might have regarding charge of credit/debit card abuse. The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, is dedicated to representing the rights of those who have been accused charge of credit/debit card abuse. Carl will do everything in his power to help you with whatever criminal charge you, or a loved one, may be facing. Carl and his legal team will always do the best to help give wise counsel and advice to obtain a successful outcome. Whether already criminal charge you, or believe you may have one soon to be facing, The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, can help. Please call 214.702.CARL (2275) for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal case.
No matter what the charge is or what is the circumstance is for your criminal case, our office can help you contest your charge. The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, has successfully defended criminal cases all over the State of Texas. Carl has personally conducted DWI jury trials in over ten different counties in the State of Texas and has over a decade of experience defending clients against all manner of criminal charges. You can contact The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder at any time for assistance at 214.702.CARL(2275) or at 469.2000.DWI(394). You can also e-mail Carl directly, at Carl@CederLaw.com; or to the office for general inquiries at Info@DFWDefenders.com. Phones should be answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week for immediate and prompt assistance.