Credit card fraud can take many different forms. While it is commonly associated with identity theft, credit card fraud essentially includes using the credit card information of another without their consent.
Facing charges of credit card fraud can leave you uncertain as to what to expect. In some cases, you may not anticipate the severity of the penalties you face or understand why you face credit card fraud charges in the first place. Examples of fraud are wide-ranging and can include:
- Using someone else’s credit card to make a purchase
- Taking or possessing someone else’s credit card with the intent to use it
- Using someone’s account or credit card numbers to make a purchase
- Receiving items purchased through a stolen credit card
- Knowingly selling or buying a stolen credit card
In some cases, you do not even have to be in possession of a stolen or fraudulent credit card yourself to face charges.
Texas imposes harsh penalties
In Texas, state law considers these examples and more as state jail felonies. If the offense is committed against an elderly person, the state charges the offense as a third-degree felony. Penalties include fines of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years for a state jail felony and up to ten years for a third-degree felony.
Defense strategies to fight the charges you face
While facing such harsh penalties can be overwhelming, there are several common defense strategies used to either dismiss the charges or lessen the penalties of a conviction. One of the key elements of proving credit card fraud includes proving an intent to use the fraudulent or stolen credit card for purchases of your own.
To counter this, a common defense strategy is arguing your lack of knowledge of the stolen card or a lack of criminal intent to use the card. Depending on the circumstances, another strategy could include claiming that your actions were only committed due to the coercion of another. If you are under the age of 18, your age could also be used to seek less harsh penalties.
Credit card fraud in Texas is a serious crime with significant consequences. However, you may have options to challenge both the charges and potentially steep penalties you face. An attorney can help to assess these options and identify a strategy forward.