Being charged with credit card or debit card abuse is serious. Without proper legal counsel, one charged with credit card or debit card abuse faces felony charges. Felony charges may result in jail time, fines, and the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote. To avoid many of the negative consequences associated with an arrest for a felony, it is wise to hire a criminal defense attorney so that the attorney may begin working on the case.
What is credit card abuse?
According to the laws of Texas, an individual commits credit card or debit card abuse if, with the intent to benefit fraudulently, knowing that:
- The credit card or debit card has not been issued to that individual, or the individual does not have permission to use the card; or
- The credit card or debit card has expired or has been cancelled.
In addition, an individual may be convicted of credit card or debit card fraud if that individual:
- Uses a fake credit card or debit card, or a fake credit card or debit card number;
- Uses a credit card or debit card is stolen; or the accused steals a credit card or debit card;
- Purchases a credit card or debit card from someone else who is not the issuer;
- Sells a credit card or debit card;
- Convinces someone else with a credit card or debit card to make a purchase for property that the individual knows the cardholder cannot afford to pay;
- Possesses two or more incomplete debit cards or credit cards; or
- Fails to provide goods or services after agreeing to do so.
What are the penalties for credit card or debit card abuse?
Someone who commits credit card or debit card abuse as described above may be convicted of a state jail felony.
Someone convicted of a state jail felony in Texas faces both jail time and a fine. A jail term of between 180 days and 2 years may be ordered. A fine not exceeding $10,000 may also be ordered.
However, if the victim of credit card or debit card abuse is an elderly person, which is defined as someone who is at least 65 years of age, the crime is a third degree felony.
A felony of the third degree may result in a prison sentence of between 2 and 10 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
What are some defenses to credit card or debit card abuse charges?
Prosecutors must prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the only conclusion a jury would be able to draw after reviewing the evidence in the case is that the accused individual did commit the crime.
Credit card fraud or abuse must be committed intentionally. This means that the accused individual acted in a deliberate manner so as to cause a specific result. If the prosecution cannot prove that the accused individual acted intentionally, the charges may be reduced or dismissed.
Criminal defense attorneys work hard to defend their clients’ claims. They will carefully study the facts of the case to determine if the accused actually committed credit card fraud and what defenses may be presented in court. Without a criminal defense attorney, an accused individual may be unaware of his legal rights.
Call today to schedule your free consultation
At the Hampton Eppes Law Group, we are experienced in many criminal claims. Brian Eppes is a former prosecutor who focuses on defending his clients’ rights. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5201 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.