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Credit Card Abuse Texas Penal Code: Everything You Need to Know
Credit card abuse happens when someone uses someone else’s credit card without their consent, in order to obtain goods, services or cash. Credit card abuse is illegal and punishable under the Texas Penal Code. The consequences of credit card abuse can be severe, with offenders facing a range of criminal charges and penalties.
This article will provide a comprehensive overview of credit card abuse in Texas, outlining the various criminal charges and penalties associated with this offense. We’ll also provide tips on how to avoid credit card abuse and protect yourself against theft and fraud.
1. What is Credit Card Abuse?
Credit card abuse occurs in various ways, including:
- Using someone else’s credit card without their permission
- Using a fake credit card or account number
- Manipulating a credit card machine to obtain goods, services or cash
- Stealing someone’s credit card or wallet that has credit cards inside it
Under Texas law, credit card abuse is considered a criminal offense that can result in serious consequences. If convicted of the crime, offenders may face imprisonment and fines, among other penalties.
2. Charges for Credit Card Abuse
In Texas, the level of criminal charge and associated penalties for credit card abuse depend on the nature and degree of the offense. Charges may range from a misdemeanor to a felony, with punishments including jail time, fines, and restitution. The following are the charges for credit card abuse under Texas Penal Code:
- Class C Misdemeanor: Credit card abuse of items valued at $100 or less
- Class B Misdemeanor: Credit card abuse of items valued at $100 to $750
- Class A Misdemeanor: Credit card abuse of items valued at $750 to $2,500
- State Jail Felony: Credit card abuse of items valued at $2,500 to $30,000 and offense or conduct committed against an elderly person
- Third-Degree Felony – Credit card abuse of items valued at $30,000 or more
3. Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and Credit Card Abuse
Continuous sexual abuse of a child is an offense under the Texas Penal Code Section 21.02. When sexual abuse and fraud with a credit card are committed together, offenders can face serious consequences. Under Texas law, if an individual is found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child and credit card abuse, they can face a 25-year minimum sentence, and can even face life imprisonment in severe cases.
4. How to Avoid Credit Card Abuse
Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and prevent credit card abuse:
- Don’t give your credit card number to strangers or untrustworthy individuals
- Don’t leave your credit cards and wallets out in the open
- Check your credit card statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions
- Set up alerts on your credit card account to notify you of any unusual activity
- Use secure websites for online shopping
- Don’t respond to unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for your credit card information
5. Reporting Credit Card Abuse in Texas
Reporting credit card abuse is critical in ensuring that offenders are caught and punished. If you have been a victim of credit card abuse in Texas, immediately contact your bank and cancel your credit cards. Additionally, report the abuse to the police by filing a report at your local police station. Reporting the abuse helps the police in investigating the case and bringing the offender to justice.
6. Defense Strategies for Credit Card Abuse
If you’ve been accused of credit card abuse in Texas, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight for your rights. Your attorney can use a range of defense strategies, including:
- Show that you did not know that the credit card was taken without the owner’s consent
- Show that the credit card owner gave you their credit card with their consent
- Show that you were not aware that the identification information on the card was false
- Show that the credit card was used for authorized purposes
Being accused of credit card abuse in Texas is not only embarrassing and stressful but can also carry severe consequences. Protect yourself by adhering to the tips above, and if you need legal help, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you fight to protect your rights.
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