Texas Penal Code Chapter 32 outlines various types of fraud that are considered criminal offenses in the state. The types of frauds addressed in this chapter include but are not limited to forgery, false statements to obtain property or credit, credit or debit card fraud, and insurance fraud.
Types of Fraud in TX
False statements to obtain property involves making untrue statements with the intent to obtain ownership or use of someone else's property. In Texas, this is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. However, if the property value exceeds $1,500 but is less than $20,000, it is considered a felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. For instance, a person who knowingly makes false statements about their income and other financial details to obtain a loan or a lease can be prosecuted for making false statements to obtain property.
Credit fraud involves using someone else's personal and financial information to fraudulently obtain loans or credit cards. This can be achieved through various means, such as phishing scams, credit card skimming, and identity theft. In Texas, credit or debit card fraud can be charged as either a state jail felony or a third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense.
For instance, a person who uses stolen credit card information to purchase goods or services can be charged with credit fraud. The penalties for a state jail felony are up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000, while a third-degree felony can result in up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Insurance fraud includes cases where individuals intentionally make false statements in order to receive insurance benefits or avoid paying premiums. This can involve exaggerating the extent of damage or injuries, staging incidents, or theft, and filing false claims.
The penalties for insurance fraud in Texas can range from misdemeanor charges to third-degree felonies, depending on the amount of money involved. A person who knowingly submits false information in support of an insurance claim can be charged with insurance fraud. The penalties for insurance fraud can result in a fine and up to two years in jail, or up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a third-degree felony.
Proving Fraud in Court
It is worth noting that the Texas Penal Code requires that the defendant has the intent to defraud in order for the act to be considered fraud. Additionally, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with criminal intent. Finally, it is important to consider that fraudulent acts that involve federal jurisdictions may be charged as federal offenses, which are subject to different penalties and legal considerations.
In conclusion, false statements to obtain property, credit fraud, and insurance fraud are serious criminal offenses in Texas that can have significant legal repercussions. Individuals who are found guilty of committing any type of fraud can face jail time, fines, and a criminal record that can have long-term consequences on their personal and professional lives.
If you are facing criminal fraud charges, you must contact Shane Phelps Law. Our team of dedicated legal professionals is prepared to handle fraud cases ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. We have extensive experience with cases in and outside of the courtroom so you can be assured that your case is in good hands.
Contact Shane Phelps Law for more information.