Credit Card Abuse

The average American household has over $15,000 worth of credit card debt that has accumulated due to medical bills, living expenses, major electronics purchases and more. However, when a person uses another individual’s credit card and amasses debt on someone else’s behalf, it is a serious crime. Being charged with credit card fraud can result in significant penalties and repercussions. If you have been accused of this crime, speak to a knowledgeable credit card abuse lawyer today.

Definition of Credit Card Abuse

Credit card abuse is outlined in the Texas Penal Code at §32.31. There are several instances when a person can be accused of this offense, including:

  • Using documents and personal information about another individual to acquire credit (application fraud)
  • Obtaining a duplicate credit card or debit card by giving false information to a payment card provider
  • Utilizing a skimming device to extract confidential information from someone’s credit card
  • Finding/stealing a payment card and making unauthorized purchases with it
  • Using the identification numbers on another person’s credit card to make online purchases

Penalties for Credit Card Fraud in Houston

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code outlines the minimum statutory penalties for credit card fraud. The potential penalties can vary and depend on the prior criminal history of the defendant, whether the act resulted in a death or serious bodily injury to another and whether the defendant used a weapon during the commission of the offense. Some of the potential penalties include:

  • A state jail felony for less than five instances: Up to two years in state jail and/or a fine up to $10,000
  • Third-degree felony for five to nine instances: Two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000
  • Second-degree felony for 10 to 49 instances: Two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000
  • First-degree felony for 50 or more instances: Five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000
  • Identity theft or credit card theft of property above $20,000 in value: Up to life in prison

Contact a Houston Credit Card Abuse Lawyer

A veteran criminal defense attorney can help provide a solid legal defense to an individual who is charged with credit card fraud. If a defendant does not have a criminal history or if the prosecution’s case is flimsy, a credit card fraud defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or acquire a plea agreement for his client. Houston defense lawyer James Alston is a former assistant district attorney who is dedicated to providing the best defense for his clients.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free telephone consultation at (713) 714-0481

Houston Criminal Lawyer James Alston represents clients in the Houston area, including Pasadena, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Channelview, Conroe, Galveston, Angleton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Beaumont, Galveston County, Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Harris County and Jefferson County in Texas.