The Courts Take Credit Card Fraud Very Seriously
Some charges related to credit card fraud are relatively minor, but even these can lead to jail time and costly fines. The fact is that, because banks and other financial institutions take the financial brunt of most credit card fraud, courts are inclined to take these cases very seriously and to go after those so accused with considerable gusto.
How the Fraud Is Enacted
Nerdwallet shares that credit card fraud is a form of identity theft, and in the years from 2014 to 2016, credit card fraud represented nearly 33 percent of total identity theft. While Texas has its own mechanisms for prosecuting credit card fraud, if the fraudulent activity involved uses a device as an aid to the fraud – such as a credit card skimmer – the accused can face federal charges, which come with far harsher penalties.
Credit Card Fraud in Texas
In the State of Texas, all of the following are considered forms of credit card or debit card fraud:
Using a card that is known not to be one’s own
Using a card that is known to be expired, canceled, or revoked
Using a fake card or a fake credit card number
Possessing a card that is not one’s own (with the intention of using it)
Being the recipient of any credit card benefit that is known to be a violation of this credit card fraud law
Selling a card
Stealing a card with the intention of using it, selling it, or transferring it to anyone other than the owner
Convincing someone else to make a purchase that the instigator is ultimately unable to pay for
Under Texas Law
Under Texas law, credit card fraud is a state jail felony, which can lead to a sentence of up to two years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. If the person who was frauded is elderly, the charge can be increased to a third-degree felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Conversely, a federal charge can lead to up to 15 years in prison, and for a second or subsequent charge, the accused can face up to 20 years in prison. Factors such as the following can all play a role in the severity of the charge:
The amount involved
Whether the accused had criminal intent (or accidentally misused the credit card information)
Whether or not the accused has a criminal history
Do Not Wait to Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing a charge involving credit card fraud – or any criminal charge – Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a focused criminal defense attorney who dedicates his impressive practice to helping clients like you obtain optimal case resolutions. Your future is important, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 to learn more about how we can help you today.