The State of Texas takes credit card abuse very seriously, and better understanding the basics when it comes to credit card abuse can help you avoid facing charges. Credit card abuse charges vary in severity (based on the circumstances involved), but they all focus on using a credit card for one’s own benefit without authorization to do so.
Forms of Credit Card Abuse
Credit card abuse can take many forms, including:
Simply having someone else’s card and intending to use it qualifies as credit card abuse (there is no requirement that the card actually be used).
Using someone else’s card to make purchases is a form of credit card abuse.
Receiving purchases that were made via credit card abuse is itself a form of credit card abuse.
Stealing someone else’s credit card and selling your own or a stolen credit card are both forms of credit card abuse.
Using an expired, revoked, fictitious, or canceled credit card also reaches the level of abuse.
Using someone else’s credit card number to make one’s own purchase(s) is yet another form of credit card abuse.
When it comes to credit card abuse, it is not necessary to use the illegally obtained card or number in order to face charges. If the prosecution believes it can prove that you intended to use the card or number in question, it might be enough to move forward with charges.
Investigating Credit Card Abuse
Often, credit card abuse charges are the result of a card owner reporting credit card theft or unauthorized activity on a credit card. There are, however, other means available, including:
Retailers that report suspicious credit card activity to the authorities
A variety of tracing methods that are used to follow unauthorized online purchases
Sting operations that are implemented by the police
Careful cashiers who notice discrepancies between purchasers’ signatures and the signatures on their cards or between the cards and the purchasers’ licenses or other forms of ID.
In Texas, every credit card abuse charge is a state jail felony, which naturally means serious penalties, fines, and social consequences. These include:
From six months to two years in a state jail
Fines of up to $10,000
If, however, the charge involves an elderly victim (who is, therefore, considered more vulnerable), it is elevated to a third-degree felony, which can carry from 2 to 10 years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000.
It Is Time to Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing a credit card abuse charge, the matter is too serious not to reach out to a formidable criminal defense attorney like Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas. Mr. Pritchard takes great pride in protecting the legal rights of clients like you and in helping them obtain favorable case resolutions. We are here for you, too, so please do not hesitate to reach out and contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today for more information about how we can help.