When you get approved for your first credit card, it’s an exciting time. Not only does it mean you can make more purchases, but it also allows you to build your credit so you can start preparing for the future and taking out loans. Because credit cards can directly impact someone’s finances and credit score, credit card fraud is taken very seriously in Texas. If you have been charged with this offense, understanding the importance of connecting with Houston theft crime lawyers is critical. The following blog explores what you should know about these matters if this reflects your circumstances.

What Warrants Credit Card Fraud Charges?

In Texas, several actions constitute credit card fraud offenses. These actions also extend to the use of a debit card. Regardless, the following actions can warrant a criminal charge:

  • Using a credit card you know does not belong to you without the permission of the owner
  • Using a card that has been revoked or canceled
  • Using a fake credit card
  • Selling a credit card
  • Buying a credit card from someone who is not the card issuer
  • Having a card that does not belong to you to use it
  • Forcing the cardholder to make a purchase to benefit you

It’s important to understand that you do not need to have a physical card, as using the numbers of a credit card that does not belong to you to make an online purchase, for example, still warrants charges.

What Penalties Can Someone Face if Convicted?

In Texas, credit card fraud is always charged as a felony offense. However, the penalties you will face depend on the specific circumstances of the crime. If you committed this crime against an elderly individual, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. This penalty carries two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. All other instances of credit card fraud are charged as a state jail felony, warranting six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

It’s also important to understand that if you are charged with credit card fraud, you may also likely face identity theft charges, as these two crimes are often intertwined.

As you can see, the penalties for this crime can be intense. However, connecting with an experienced lawyer may allow you to craft a defense for your circumstances to fight for the best possible outcome. It’s important to understand that it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney when facing a felony offense, as they can fight for your rights during these matters.

At the Sparks Law Firm, PC, we understand how overwhelming these charges can be. That’s why our team is dedicated to fighting for you. Connect with us today to learn how our firm can assist you when you have been charged with a criminal offense like credit card fraud.