When you have been accused of fraud, the charge can seem quite complicated. There are many different types of fraud in Houston, each with its own definition and its own set of penalties. It is essential to hire a Houston fraud case criminal defense attorney when facing a fraud charge so that you can understand the type of fraud you are being charged with and what penalties you will be facing.
Various Types of Fraud
The criminal charge of fraud covers a variety of crimes. The following are the different types of fraud charges that that one can arrested for:
- Check Forgery
- Credit Card Fraud
- Credit Fraud
- Identity Theft
Check forgery is charged when:
- You steal an unsigned check with the intent of using it as if it were yours
- You sign/fill in a check that does not belong to you and pass it off as if it was yours without the owner’s authorization
You can be charged with this offense just by possessing the check, even if you were not the one who stole it.
Credit card fraud is charged when:
- You use a credit/debit card you know has expired or been canceled.
- You use a credit/debit card that does not belong to you without the owner’s permission
- You possess a credit/debit card that does not belong to you and intend to use it
- You buy, sell, or accept a credit/debit card that you know is stolen property
- You convince someone who does not have the means to pay for something to use their credit/debit card to buy it
Credit fraud is charged when:
- You lie on a written application for a loan, credit card, or property
Identity theft is charged when:
- You use, possess or obtain personal information belonging to someone else with the intent to commit fraud.
- You have personal information for three or more other persons
Penalties of Fraud Charges
Fraud is a serious crime that can affect your future, including employment, and have very harsh penalties depending on the type of fraud. Check forgery and credit card fraud are state jail felonies. Credit fraud penalties vary based on the amount involved. Identity theft penalties vary with the number of information items that are possessed by the accused.
Charged With a Felony, Misdemeanor, or Federal Crime?
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Penalties for check forgery and credit card fraud:
- 180 days to 2 years in jail
- Up to a $10,000 fine
Penalties for Identity theft:
- 180 days to 99 years in prison
- Up to a $10,000 fine
Contact a Houston Fraud Attorney
Houston criminal defense attorney Mario Madrid of Madrid Law can answer your questions and help you with fraud charges. Mr. Madrid can explain what the charges mean and their effect on your future. Make the right choice for your defense and your future; contact Mario Madrid a Houston fraud attorney at 713-877-9400 to evaluate your case today.