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Fraudulent Use/Possession of Credit Card or Debit Card Info

Ever since credit and debit cards were invented people were attempting to steal other people’s numerical information through various schemes. Now, in Texas it’s illegal to fraudulently use or possess another person’s credit card or debit card information without their consent. 

This means you don’t need to have their physical card on you, only the information to face criminal charges. The penalties for the crime are nothing to laugh at either. The lightest penalty you can face for fraudulent use or possession of another’s card info is a felony charge, meaning the judge could sentence you to prison.

If you or someone you know has been charged with fraudulent use or possession of credit card or debit card information, we highly urge you to gain legal representation.

Attorney for Fraudulent Use or Possession of Card Info in The Woodlands, TX

Were you accused of stealing or using another person’s credit or debit card information? Are you unsure how to handle the situation or even what to do next? If so, we suggest you gain excellent legal representation with [firm]. Matthew Horak is an experienced white collar crime attorney with years of practice under his belt to prove it. 

Get in contact with [firm] by picking up the phone and dialing [phone]. Your first consultation is free and during your appointment attorney Horak can chart out a defense plan with you. He has represented people throughout the Texas area including Brazoria County, Harris County, Montgomery County and Fort Bend County, Texas. 

Overview of Fraudulent Use or Possession of Card Info


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Legal Definitions for the Crime

It’s important you understand the legal definitions surrounding the crime before you learn about fraudulent use or possession of credit card or debit card information. The term “credit card” refers to any card, plate, coupon, book or number that authorizes a person to obtain property or services on credit. It includes the number and description of the device if the device itself is not produced at the time of ordering or obtaining the property or service.

A “debit card” is defined as any card, plate, coupon, book or number that authorizes a designated person or account holder to request cash from an unmanned teller machine, customer convivence terminal or obtain property or services by debit from a bank.

The term “digital imprint” means any digital data placed on a credit, debit or counterfeit card. A debit or credit card is considered to be counterfeit if:

  • It purports on its face to have been issued by an issuer that didn’t assign the card;
  • Altered to contain a digital imprint other than that which was placed by the issuer;
  • Contains a digital imprint with the account information or account holder information differing from that which is printed or embossed on the card;
  • Altered to change the account information or holder information on the card;
  • Card, other than one issued as a credit or debit card, that has been altered to contain a digital imprint of a credit or debit card

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Elements for Fraudulent Use or Possession of Credit Card or Debit Card Information

The crime of fraudulent use or possession of another’s credit or debit card information is defined under Texas Penal Code 32.315. The statute states you’re guilty of the crime if you had intent to harm or defraud another by obtaining, possessing, transferring or using:

  • Counterfeit credit or debit card;
  • Number and expiration date of a credit or debit card without consent of the person in charge of the account; or
  • Data stored on a digital imprint of a credit card or debit card without the consent of the person in charge of the account 

Possessing five or more different credit or debit card information, the court will have a rebuttable presumption that the actor possessed each item without the account holder’s consent.


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TX Penalties for Fraudulent Use or Possession of Credit or Debit Card Info

In Texas, your penalties for fraudulent using or possessing another’s card information depend on the facts of the case. If the number of card information obtained or used was less than five, it’s considered to be a state jail felony. The penalties surrounding a state jail felony include: 

  • Up to 2 years in state jail; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

If the number of items is more than five, but less than 10 it’s a third-degree felony. The maximum penalties for a third-degree felony are:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000 

If the number of items is ten or more, but less than 50 it’s a second-degree felony. The consequences associated with a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000 

The crime is enhanced to a first-degree felony if the number of items owned or possessed is 50 or more. A first-degree felony has the highest penalties including up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  In addition, the court may order you to pay restitution costs to the victim for any lost income or expenses other than attorney’s fees.


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Additional Resources

Credit and Debit Card Theft and Protection – Visit the official website for Ken Paxton, Texas’s Attorney General of Texas. Access the site to learn more about how scammers obtain credit card information, tips for people with missing or stolen information and resources for victims.

Texas Laws for Fraud – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about fraud such as possessing or using another person’s credit or debit card information. Learn the penalties, defenses and elements of the crime as well as other related fraud offenses.


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Defense Lawyer for Fraudulent Card Use in Harris County, TX

If you or someone you know has been arrested for possessing or using another person’s card information, we urge you to contact [firm]. Criminal defense attorney Matthew Horak has been practicing defense for years and can use his skills as well as his resources to good use for you.

Contact him by calling [phone] for a free consultation. Attorney Matthew Horak will sit down you with and discuss your case in further detail. [firm] practices throughout the Montgomery County area including The Woodlands, Conroe and Magnolia.


This article was last updated on November 22, 2019.

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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014

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