Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) – Deceptive Business Practices
Deceptive trade practice is an activity where business or individual engages in misleading or luring public into purchasing a product or service. In Texas, the Deceptive trade practice law has been designed to protect consumers from false or misleading advertisement. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) thus prohibits vendors and salesmen from using
- False statements
- Misleading advertisements to generate business
Of course; DTPA is a potential weapon against a business, which has treated consumer improperly. This means; if the business has made misrepresentations regarding its services and goods, if consumers have been harmed due to these misrepresentations then as per the state and federal law the business is obliged to compensate the consumer for the harm it might have caused. In fact past few years have witnessed literally an explosion of U.S. DTPA prosecutions and enforcement actions. There are ample examples of companies that are paying much higher penalties and fines than ever before. As a business owner you should also build your defense without any further delay if you are charged with DTPA. Consider retaining experienced Deceptive Business Practices Act lawyer to give professional guidance and training.
Texas and federal laws thus cover a whole array of acts, which are regarded as unlawful if engaged in a transaction between a seller and the consumer.
As briefed earlier the act is pretty broad and covers a number of situations, such as
- Misrepresenting the quality of goods offered for sale
- Misrepresenting the characteristics or value of the goods offered for sale
- Not disclosing information about goods or services intentionally
- Not disclosing information about goods or services to lure the consumer to entering into a transaction
- Breaching an warranty
- Financing that is fraudulent or misleading
- Wrongful debt collection
- Taking advantage of the consumer’s language skills, or not reading well
- Using false or misleading advertising
- Exaggerating the benefits of a product
- Passing off a used product as a new one
- Making false allegations about a competitor
- Price gouging after natural disaster or catastrophe
The Law Office of John R. Teakell is committed to the best representation for clients who are under investigation for, or who are charged with, DTPA – Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Armed with his skill, industry knowledge and experience he is an expert in handling such cases
Types of Deceptive Trade Practices
Deceptive trade practices come in a number of forms. Here are a few examples of deceptive trade practices –
False Advertising : It is illegal in Texas and it includes making false statements about
- The advertiser’s product
- The competitor’s product
Keep in mind; only objective claims may violate false advertising laws and subjective claims such as “professional grade” or “best value for your money” are harder to enforce.
Bait and Switch: This type of scam occurs when an advertiser lures a customer into a store for a particular product and gets the customer to purchase similar item however the deal in such cases is always better for the seller.
Odometer Tampering: The Texas vehicle code also makes it unlawful to change the mileage on an odometer.
Deceptive Pricing: Texas law prohibits retailers to list “regular” prices with a “sale”. This involves marking up the regular price of a particular item to make the buyer believe that they are getting a better deal.
Low Stock Scams: The state and federal law prohibits sellers from listing a low price for an item with a low stock
Penalties for Unethical Trade Practices
Charges for DTPA carry huge penalties. Foolproof defense is vital for defending and protecting your business against these charges. Experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas , John R Teakell can help in protecting your future from such severe charges
The fact of the matter is; certain violations of the consumer protection laws are categorized as criminal acts punishable in Texas as MISDEMEANOR offenses. For instance; the retailer falsely advertising that it is going out of business or misrepresenting itself as a wholesaler can be convicted of a misdemeanor. It carries a punishment by fines ranging from $100 to $500.
Other violations, for instance pyramid promotional schemes, are prosecuted as FELONY criminal offenses.
Grading of offenses —
Consumer Product Safety
The most common form of consumer protection is ensuring product safety. This segment is typically handled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC). The ideal of the commission is to ensure that all producers adhere to strict safety standards. Remember, the CSPC has the authority to order a recall of an item that does not meet those standards.
Another common area of dispute involves warranties. Following are the 3 different kinds of warranties with which the consumer can hold the business accountable to:
- Express Warranty: This type of warranty is always written down and it thus includes the product’s paperwork. Most products have express warranties.
- Merchantability Warranty: This is an implied warranty that labels the product as fit to sell and functions as intended.
- Fitness Warranty: This is an implied warranty. It assumes the seller will provide products to the buyer that suit that buyer’s need and purpose.
All lenders are required by law to fully provide and explain the complicated finance terms and conditions attached to many forms of credit.
A violation of this section constitutes:
- Felony of the THIRD DEGREE if the amount involved exceeds $2,000
- Misdemeanor of the FIRST DEGREE if the amount involved is $200 or more but $2,000 or less
- Misdemeanor of the SECOND DEGREE if the amount involved is less than $200 or when the amount cannot be ascertained
- When the victim of the offense is 60 years, the grading of the offense shall be one grade higher
How John Teakell the best criminal defense attorney can help.
John. R. Teakell employs a strong defense and a practical approach to assist his clients before a problem arises. Needless to say; an ounce of prevention in deceptive trade practices can save many millions of dollars in investigative costs and sanctions. As the best federal defense attorney , Teakell know how to prosecute civil enforcement actions of fraudulent schemes
As a matter of fact; the attacks on the evidence offered by a consumer is difficult to prove at a trial unless there is written documentation to support the allegations. As a skilled federal defense lawyer, Teakell has successfully prosecuted all types of federal crimes in the Northern District of Texas. He will work toward the goal of closing the investigation with no prosecution, which would prevent any DTPA charges.
He stands ready to assist in your case, not only in court appearances, but also in preparing evidence to rebut the government’s case or in the preparation of a trial defense. Schedule an Appointment with Deceptive Trade Practices Lawyer – John R. Teakell