In general, fraud is an intentional attempt to deceive another person, typically for financial personal gain. Fraud often involves the usage of misleading statements or false information in order to gain access to money, goods, services, information, or credit. Most commonly, fraud occurs when individuals use dishonest tactics to deprive others of money or other property that rightfully belongs to them.
For the most part, fraud offenses are non-violent crimes; thus, many refer to these crimes as white-collar crimes. However, in the event that the fraudulent scheme involves the use of firearms or results in serious bodily injury or death to another, the charges and penalties predictably become more severe.
Texas Penal Code Chapter 32 defines several different types of fraud-related criminal offenses and their potential penalties. Each crime is categorized according to the specific type of fraud that it involves. Some of the different crimes classified as fraud under Texas law include the following:
· Making false statements to obtain property or credit
· Fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle
· Issuance of bad checks
· Credit card fraud
· Health care fraud
· Identity theft
· Deceptive business practices
· Commercial bribery
The severity of the penalties for fraud offenses in Texas depends upon the nature of the crime, the individual’s previous criminal history, and the value of the funds, goods, or services involved in the fraudulent scheme. The most minor fraud-related charge may be a Class C misdemeanor, which typically results in a $500 fine, whereas the most serious fraud-related charge may be a first-degree felony, which is punishable by incarceration ranging from five to 99 years and a $10,000 fine. Individuals who commit fraud also may have to pay restitution to those who suffered losses as a result of the fraud.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have the experience and knowledge that are necessary to represent your interests when you are facing criminal court proceedings on any type of charges. We are here to gather evidence on your behalf, build a strong defense in your case, and develop the best strategy for achieving your goals. Take the first step by contacting us today and learning what we can do to help.