In Texas, you can be arrested for credit card or debit card abuse if you use a credit or debit card without someone else’s permission, and you are attempting to fraudulently obtain a benefit. Also, you can be charged with credit card or debit card abuse if, with the intent to benefit fraudulently, you try to use a credit or debit card that has been revoked or cancelled (i.e., regardless of whether or not it’s your credit or debit card). In addition, receiving a stolen credit or debit card, possessing a stolen credit or debit card with the intent to use it can also get you arrested for credit card or debit card abuse. Typically, credit card or debit card abuse is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days to 2 years in the state jail, and up to a $10,000 fine. However, if it’s alleged that you committed credit or debit card abuse against an elderly person, it’s a third degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in state prison, and up to a $10,000 fine. If you’ve been arrested or charged with credit or debit card abuse, you need serious legal help. Call the criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. Our lawyers each have over 15 years of experience in the practice of criminal defense law. Free consultation. Call us at 214.827.2800, or contact one of our attorneys directly using our “Get Legal Help Now!” form in the left margin of this web page. Se habla español.
Texas Penal Code Section 32.31. CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD ABUSE.
(a) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Cardholder” means the person named on the face of a credit card or debit card to whom or for whose benefit the card is issued.
(2) “Credit card” means an identification card, plate, coupon, book, number, or any other device authorizing a designated person or bearer to obtain property or services on credit. The term includes the number or description of the device if the device itself is not produced at the time of ordering or obtaining the property or service.
(3) “Expired credit card” means a credit card bearing an expiration date after that date has passed.
(4) “Debit card” means an identification card, plate, coupon, book, number, or any other device authorizing a designated person or bearer to communicate a request to an unmanned teller machine or a customer convenience terminal or obtain property or services by debit to an account at a financial institution. The term includes the number or description of the device if the device itself is not produced at the time of ordering or obtaining the benefit.
(5) “Expired debit card” means a debit card bearing as its expiration date a date that has passed.
(6) “Unmanned teller machine” means a machine, other than a telephone, capable of being operated by a customer, by which a customer may communicate to a financial institution a request to withdraw a benefit for himself or for another directly from the customer’s account or from the customer’s account under a line of credit previously authorized by the institution for the customer.
(7) “Customer convenience terminal” means an unmanned teller machine the use of which does not involve personnel of a financial institution.
(b) A person commits an offense if:
(1) with intent to obtain a benefit fraudulently, he presents or uses a credit card or debit card with knowledge that: (A) the card, whether or not expired, has not been issued to him and is not used with the effective consent of the cardholder; or (B) the card has expired or has been revoked or cancelled;
(2) with intent to obtain a benefit, he uses a fictitious credit card or debit card or the pretended number or description of a fictitious card;
(3) he receives a benefit that he knows has been obtained in violation of this section;
(4) he steals a credit card or debit card or, with knowledge that it has been stolen, receives a credit card or debit card with intent to use it, to sell it, or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder;
(5) he buys a credit card or debit card from a person who he knows is not the issuer;
(6) not being the issuer, he sells a credit card or debit card;
(7) he uses or induces the cardholder to use the cardholder’s credit card or debit card to obtain property or service for the actor’s benefit for which the cardholder is financially unable to pay;
(8) not being the cardholder, and without the effective consent of the cardholder, he possesses a credit card or debit card with intent to use it;
(9) he possesses two or more incomplete credit cards or debit cards that have not been issued to him with intent to complete them without the effective consent of the issuer. For purposes of this subdivision, a card is incomplete if part of the matter that an issuer requires to appear on the card before it can be used, other than the signature of the cardholder, has not yet been stamped, embossed, imprinted, or written on it;
(10) being authorized by an issuer to furnish goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card, he, with intent to defraud the issuer or the cardholder, furnishes goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card obtained or retained in violation of this section or a credit card or debit card that is forged, expired, or revoked; or
(11) being authorized by an issuer to furnish goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card, he, with intent to defraud the issuer or a cardholder, fails to furnish goods or services that he represents in writing to the issuer that he has furnished.
(c) It is presumed that a person who used a revoked, cancelled, or expired credit card or debit card had knowledge that the card had been revoked, cancelled, or expired if he had received notice of revocation, cancellation, or expiration from the issuer. For purposes of this section, notice may be either notice given orally in person or by telephone, or in writing by mail or by telegram. If written notice was sent by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, or by telegram with report of delivery requested, addressed to the cardholder at the last address shown by the records of the issuer, it is presumed that the notice was received by the cardholder no later than five days after sent.
(d) An offense under this section is a state jail felony, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the offense was committed against an elderly individual as defined by Section 22.04. Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1104, Sec. 2, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1054, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 670, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.
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