The Deceptive Business Practices crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you engage in a number of fraudulent business practices. Learn more detailed information about the Deceptive Business Practices offense below.
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Deceptive Business Practices is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.”
The offense is described in Section 32.42 of the Texas Penal Code.
(b) A person commits an offense if in the course of business he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence commits one or more of the following deceptive business practices:
(1) using, selling, or possessing for use or sale a false weight or measure, or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity;
(2) selling less than the represented quantity of a property or service;
(3) taking more than the represented quantity of property or service when as a buyer the actor furnishes the weight or measure;
(4) selling an adulterated or mislabeled commodity;
(5) passing off property or service as that of another;
(6) representing that a commodity is original or new if it is deteriorated, altered, rebuilt, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
(7) representing that a commodity or service is of a particular style, grade, or model if it is of another;
(8) advertising property or service with intent:
(A) not to sell it as advertised, or
(B) not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertising adequately discloses a time or quantity limit;
(9) representing the price of property or service falsely or in a way tending to mislead;
(10) making a materially false or misleading statement of fact concerning the reason for, existence of, or amount of a price or price reduction;
(11) conducting a deceptive sales contest; or
(12) making a materially false or misleading statement:
(A) in an advertisement for the purchase or sale of property or service; or
(B) otherwise in connection with the purchase or sale of property or service.
You can be charged with Deceptive Business Practices if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.42 as described in the section above have been met.
A conviction for Deceptive Business Practices under Subsections (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(5), and (b)(6) is punished as a Class C misdemeanor if the state’s attorneys prove that you committed the offense with criminal negligence and if you have not previously been convicted of a deceptive business practice,1 or a Class A misdemeanor if the state’s attorneys prove that you committed the offense intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or if you have been previously convicted of a Class B or C misdemeanor under the Deceptive Business Practices law.2 An offense under Subsections (b)(7), (b)(8), (b)(9), (b)(10), (b)(11), and (b)(12) is a Class A misdemeanor.3
1Texas Penal Code Section 32.42(c)(1)
2Texas Penal Code Section 32.42(c)(2)
3Texas Penal Code Section 32.42(d)