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White Collar Crimes

Crimes involving finance or deception for a personal benefit is referred to as white collar crimes. You can be charged with a white collar crime for a multitude of offenses. Some of these include issuing a bad check, forgery, identity theft or credit card fraud.

Depending on the circumstances, a white collar crime conviction can alter your life dramatically. You could be saddled with court fines in the thousands and even face incarceration. Some white collar offenses can result in felony charges, which includes prison.

Thankfully, you can fight back with strong legal representation. If you or someone you know has been charged with a white collar crime, it’s important you seek trusted legal counsel.

Lawyer for White Collar Crimes in Houston, Texas

White collar crimes are often associated with light legal punishments because they’re nonviolent. However, this couldn’t be furthest from the truth. A white collar crime can result in harsh consequences including incarceration depending on the circumstances.

Don’t make any major decisions surrounding your charges without quality legal representation. Contact Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Our team will overlook your charges to discover your legal options. We can collect evidence, file motions and do whatever is needed to create a strong defense for you.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. defends all types of white collar crimes including:

  • Identity theft;
  • Credit card fraud;
  • Insurance fraud;
  • Issuing a bad check;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Forgery; or
  • Tax evasion

Call now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free consultation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represents people accused of white collar crimes throughout the greater Harris County area including Tomball, Houston, West University Place and Bellaire.

Overview of White Collar Crimes in Texas


Identity Theft Charges in Houston, Texas

A common white collar crime is identity theft, otherwise known as using another person’s identifying information. Texas Penal Code § 32.51(c) states it’s illegal to possess, transfer or defraud using another person’s identifying information. The law defines identifying information as anything that can distinguish a person including:

  • Name and date of birth;
  • Your fingerprint, voice print, or iris image;
  • Banking number, routing code or ATM card;
  • Social security number;
  • Birth certificate;
  • Driver’s license; and
  • Other government-issues identification numbers

Texas Penal Code § 32.51(b) states you’re committing identity theft if you possess, use, transfer or defraud someone with Identifying information:

  • From another without their consent;
  • From a deceased person. This includes a stillborn infant or fetus; or
  • From a child younger than 18 years old

The penalties for identity theft depend on the number of identifying items were utilized. If the number was less than five, you’ll be charged with a state jail felony. A state jail felony can result in up to:

  • 180 days to 24 months in jail; and
  • Possible fine of up to $10,000

Possessing five or more, but less than 10 items will result in a third-degree felony. The punishment for a third-degree felony includes:

  • Minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

Having 10 or more identifying items but less than 50 will result in a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

Possessing, transferring or using 50 or more items will result in a first-degree felony which has a maximum prison sentence of 99 years or life in prison.


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Credit Card Fraud in Harris County, Texas

A credit card is a promise between you and the card issuer that you’ll pay back the used funds with added interest. Using, defrauding another or stealing a credit card is considered credit card fraud. You can also be charged with credit card fraud for doing the following:

  • Creating a fictitious credit card or debit card;
  • Using another’s credit or debit card without consent;
  • Receiving a benefit, which they know has been illegally obtained;
  • Buying a credit or debit card from someone who isn’t the cardholder;
  • Stealing a debit or credit card;
  • Possesses with intent to use another’s credit or debit card; or
  • Compelling another to use their credit or debit card for a service or good which isn’t within the cardholder’s financial ability

Credit card fraud is a state jail felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

If the crime was directed towards an elderly person, the penalty is a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony can result in:

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

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Issuing a Bad Check or Similar Sight Order in Texas

In Texas, it’s illegal to issue a bad check or similar sight order which promises an upcoming payment. Texas Penal Code § 32 states you’re issuing a bad check or similar sight order if:

  • You were aware you didn’t’ have a bank account with said financial institution; OR
  • Your payment was refused because you lacked funds or had insufficient funds within 30 days after you issued the check. You can only be charged if you didn’t recompense the holder within 10 days of receiving notice of the refused payment.

Issuing a bad check in Texas is a class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $500. If the check or sight order was a child support payment, then the offense is elevated to a class B misdemeanor. A class B misdemeanor can result in:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $2,000

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Additional Resources

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud – Visit the official website of the Federal Trade Commission to learn more about how to protect yourself from credit card fraud. Learn common scenarios where credit card fraud can happen, how to report fraud and resources for victims.

Identity Theft – Visit the official website of Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas to learn more about the crime identity theft. Access the site to find more information on what to do if your identity is stolen, how to prevent it and how to make an ID theft recovery plan.


Lawyer for White Collar Crimes in Harris County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a white collar crime, it’s imperative you contact an experienced defense attorney. An attorney can evaluate your charges and chart out a defense plan for you. Don’t wait another moment and call the attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..

Our attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. have spent years defending people accused of white collar crimes. We’re familiar with all types from large-scale business embezzlement schemes to minor credit card fraud. Call (713) 224-5529 to speak to an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. today.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. defends clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Bellaire, Houston, West University Place and Pasadena.


This article was last updated on March 11th, 2019.

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