Deceptive Business Practices entails a long list of 12 types of offenses, from mislabeling a product, to an unfair contest, to misleading the public about measurements of products, weights, descriptions, used condition, and more. The penalty is most commonly a Class A Misdemeanor.
Some of the more common subsections are Subsection (8), which prohibits a person from advertising property or a service with intent to either not to sell it as advertised, and also Subsection (9), which prohibits a person from representing the price of property or service falsely or in a way tending to mislead. Likewise, Subsection (10) makes it illegal for a person to make a materially false or misleading statement of fact concerning a prodcuts price or price reduction.
Deceptive Business Practice is a complex statute, and not overly common in Travis County. Deceptive Business Practice requires an in-depth analysis of products, contest details, merchandise, and any marketing of those items to the public. Many times, the offense stems from mislabeling of a product as well, so keeping detailed records of all business activities is crucial in Deceptive Business Practice cases. The more records you can supply your attorney, the better the chances are to defend the case.
Deceptive Business Practice is considered a Crime of Moral Turpitude. This means they are offenses involving traits of honestly and trust in the community. Offenses that, if convicted, may portrait the person as being dishonest. Crimes of Moral Turpitude are among the most commonly reported on criminal history background checks, and are scrutinized by potential employers, colleges, landlords, and law enforcement. They may disqualify a person from serving on jury duty, holding public offices, obtaining licensing and clearance in certain fields, traveling into other counties, obtaining loans and mortgages, and more. They will also be allowed to be disclosed to the jury or judge if you are ever testifying at a hearing or trial.
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
Deceptive Business Practice arrests will result in jail -- and a bail bond will be required for release from Jail. An Attorney can help obtain a Personal Bond for Deceptive Business Practice by arguing to a Judge for release. This will require hiring the attorney for both the jail release and represention on the case itself; although typically the jail release fee is the deposit for representation.
Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant for Deceptive Business Practice, which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an active Travis County Arrest Warrant for Deceptive Business Practice.
Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
Defenses for Deceptive Business Practice vary, considering there are no many subsections in the statute. As mentioned above, there are roughly 12 sections listed within the statute, so whichever one a person is charged under would require an in-depth analysis concerning defenses.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Deceptive Business Practice cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
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Goals vary, depending on a person's charge, criminal history, and other factors, but ideally, the goal should be a reduction of charges, a dismissal, and avoiding heavy fines for any Deceptive Business Practice charge. While not common in Travis County, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.
(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.
|Level of Offense||Punishment||Fines|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines|
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