Credit Card Fraud

One of the most common types of fraud is credit fraud. When a person uses a invalid or another’s credit or debit card information to obtain goods or services, he or she is guilty of credit fraud. There are various scenarios where a person can be charged with credit or debit card fraud. No matter the circumstances, credit fraud is a serious offender under Texas law.

Due to the severe penalties, it is vital that you protect your rights with a criminal defense attorney. Credit card fraud can lead steep fines and possible incarceration. Do not hesitate when it comes to your freedom. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with credit fraud, it is in your best interest to obtain trusted legal representation.

Credit Card Fraud Attorneys in Bexar County, Texas

Conviction for credit fraud can result in serious penalties. You may have to pay costly fines, serve time in jail or prison, and have a criminal record. Hiring an attorney can greatly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC are experienced in representing those accused of white collar crimes. We understand that fraud allegations can be stressful. Our attorneys want to exhaust all resources, explore every tactic to help you get the best possible result. Stay ahead of the prosecution. Call us now at (210) 738-8383 for a free consultation.

Our attorneys represent those arrested throughout the greater San Antonio area including Terrell Hills, Universal City, Leon Valley, and Kirby. 

Overview for Credit Fraud in Texas


Elements for Credit Fraud Charges in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 32.31 outlines the different scenarios that can be considered credit or debit card abuse. The statute outlines 11 different situations that can result in criminal charges. The following are the different actions a person can do to commit credit or debit card fraud:

  • Uses a factious credit card or debit card;
  • Uses another’s credit or debit card without their consent;
  • Receives a benefit that they know has been illegally obtained;
  • Buying a credit or debit card from another who is not the cardholder;
  • Steal a credit or debit card to use it, sell it, or transfer it to a person who is not the cardholder;
  • Had intent to use another’s credit or debit card;
  • Using or inducing another to use their credit or debit card for a good or service that is not within the cardholder’s financial ability;
  • Possessing two or more incomplete credit card or debit cards with intent to complete them without the cardholder’s consent;
  • If the alleged offender was authorized by an issuer to furnish goods or services on presentation of a credit card or debit card. It is credit card fraud if alleged offender, with the intent to defraud the issuer, fails to furnish goods or services that they represent in writing to the issuer that they have furnished 

The penalty for credit or debit card is a state jail felony. A state jail felony is punishable by up to 24 months in jail, and a fine up to $10,000. If the alleged victim is an elderly person, the crime is enhanced to a third degree felony. A felony of the third degree is punishable by up to five years in prison, and a fine of $10,000.


Federal Credit Card Fraud Charges

Commonly, with credit card fraud, the alleged offender commits the crime across state lines. It is common for those who commit credit card fraud to apply for cards in various states under various names. When this happens, the alleged offender may be charged in federal court. 

Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices is codified under 18 U.S. Code § 1029. An alleged offender could face a fine of up 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if they do any of the following: 

  • Possess a telecommunications instrument that has been modified or altered to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunication services;
  • With intent to defraud produce, use or traffic in one or more counterfeit access devices;
  • Traffic in or use one or more unauthorized access devices during any one-year period, and obtained any goods, services, or money in value aggregating $1,000 or more during that period;
  • Solicits a person or the purpose of offering an access device without authorization. This includes selling information regarding or an application to obtain a access device;
  • Showing evidence or records of transactions made by an access device to the paying agent without authorization of the credit card system member.

Federal law defines “access device” as any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment. This includes instrument identifiers, or other means of account access that can be used alone or in conjunction with another access device to obtain money, goods, or services. 

An alleged offender could face 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, if he or she does any of the following: 

  • Knowingly, and with the intent to defraud affect transactions, with one or more access devices issued to another person or persons. This is to receive payment or any other thing of value during any one-year period which values at $1,000 or more;
  • Knowingly, and with the intent to defraud, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possess access-device making equipment;
  • Intentionally use, traffic in, produce, or own software or hardware, knowing it has been configured to insert or modify telecommunication-identifying information. And that that such instrument may be used to obtain telecommunications service without authorization.

Additional Resources

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud – Visit the official website for the Federal Trade Commission. Find more information on how credit card fraud occurs, what you can do to stop it, and how to report losses due to fraud.

Texas Credit Card Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code. Find more information surrounding forgery, fraud, and credit card abuse. Learn the charge specifics, penalties, and admissible defenses in court. 


Credit Card Fraud Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with credit card fraud, it is essential that you gain legal representation. The Texas criminal courts can be complex, and the federal courts are even more complicated. Do what is best for you. Contact an attorney at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC.

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC are experienced in handling credit card fraud and other types of white-collar crimes in Texas. We understand that the legal system is overwhelming. That is why we will clarify and walk with you every step of the way. Call us now at (210) 738-8383, for a free consultation surrounding your charges. 

Flanary Law Firm, PLLC represents those with allegations of possessing drug paraphernalia throughout the Bexar County area and nearby counties including Reeves County, Comal County, Kendall County, and Atascosa County.


This article was last updated on September 27, 2018.

Click Here to Request Your Free Consultation
Request Your Free Consultation

* All fields are required.

In the Media
Defender of the Year Featured in Defender Magazine