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Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree

The Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree crime in the state of Texas prohibits you from using a fake college degree or one that doesn’t belong to you in an attempt to get a job or for some other advantage. Learn more detailed information about the Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree offense below.

An important limitation to this offense, as described below, is that it only applies to a “postsecondary” degree, so it does not include a high school diploma.

Have you been charged with Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.”

What is the law in Texas about Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree?

The offense is described in Section 32.52 of the Texas Penal Code.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) uses or claims to hold a postsecondary degree that the person knows:

(A) is a fraudulent or substandard degree;

(B) is fictitious or has otherwise not been granted to the person; or

(C) has been revoked; and

(2) uses or claims to hold that degree:

(A) in a written or oral advertisement or other promotion of a business; or

(B) with the intent to:

(i) obtain employment;

(ii) obtain a license or certificate to practice a trade, profession, or occupation;

(iii) obtain a promotion, a compensation or other benefit, or an increase in compensation or other benefit, in employment or in the practice of a trade, profession, or occupation;

(iv) obtain admission to an educational program in this state; or

(v) gain a position in government with authority over another person, regardless of whether the actor receives compensation for the position.

How can I be charged with Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree?

You can be charged with Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.52(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree?

A conviction for Fraudulent, Substandard, or Fictitious Degree is punished as a Class B misdemeanor,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 32.52(c)