Credit Card Abuse Charges in Waco
When an unauthorized person uses a credit card or debit card, it means that a felony has been committed. The use of the card or just the number is a violation of Texas law. Unlike finding cash on the ground, “I just found the card” is not a defense. A Waco criminal defense lawyer at Dunnam & Dunnam can help you with your credit card abuse case. Call us at 254-753-6437 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who is knowledgeable, experienced, and capable. Since 1925, our law firm has defended the accused in Waco. We are familiar faces in front of judges, prosecutors, and juries.
Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse in Texas Law
Texas Penal Code §32.31 describes credit card abuse and debit card abuse. In part, that statute says that it is unlawful to:
- with intent to obtain a benefit fraudulently, someone shows or utilizes a credit card or debit card with the awareness that:
- the card, whether expired or not, has not been issued to the person and is not used with the valid consent of the cardholder; or
- the card has expired or has been revoked or canceled.
The code lists various other ways card abuse is committed other than just using someone else’s credit card. For example, using a credit card to avoid paying or getting someone else’s money is a crime.
Punishment for Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse in Waco, Texas
You can get severe prison time and monetary fines if convicted of credit card abuse. The punishment depends on how the credit card was used, how it was obtained, and how much money was charged. This crime is a state jail felony carrying a punishment of 180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. But if the defendant has prior convictions or the victim was elderly, then the charge could be enhanced. A conviction for Credit Card Abuse can affect your ability to get a job for the rest of your life.
Defenses against Credit Card and Debit Card Abuse Charges in Waco Texas
The criminal offenses of credit card and debit card abuse require that the government prove that you intentionally committed the crime. The prosecution must prove that you had the intent to misuse a credit card illegally. There are many methods that we can use to discredit the prosecution’s case. For example, if we show that you lacked the necessary knowledge to commit the offense, that could be a viable defense. Defendants who are arrested for credit card abuse occasionally did not or could not know that they did not have permission to use it. The defendant may not have attempted to defraud anyone or break the law. And if the defendant is under the age of 18, we may argue that the defendant’s age led to irresponsible decision making.
Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
You probably have a lot of questions about the criminal defense process. Please read our frequently asked questions while waiting on your appointment with a Waco criminal defense lawyer.
Waco Criminal Defense Attorney for Credit Card Abuse Arrest
Whether you have been arrested, indicted, or charged with stealing and using a credit card, using a credit card that you found, giving out information from a found credit card, or using a stolen credit card, you need a local criminal defense attorney experienced in defending these cases.