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California Fraud Crimes Defense; What You Need To Know

By Lala , in News , at September 1, 2022 Tags: , ,

If you make a mistake or misunderstandings arise, you could suddenly find yourself facing fraud allegations. You may be accused of obtaining property or money to which you do not have a right. In the face of such allegations, it can be difficult to defend yourself. Which action should you take? Do you have anything to say? It is best to remain silent in these circumstances and to call a Los Angeles fraud attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer will ensure you are appropriately involved in an investigation and that you do not incriminate yourself as you prepare for a court trial with them.

Understanding Fraud Crime

Fraud involves deceitfully obtaining something from another person in order to deprive them of their money or property. Various types of fraud are defined and prohibited by the California Penal Code (PC), from writing back checks to forging others’ signatures. It is important to contact a fraud lawyer immediately if you are accused of fraud of any kind.

California Fraud Crimes

Numerous crimes fall under the category of fraud, including:

  • Credit Card Fraud: Obtaining, making, possessing, using, selling, or conveying a credit or debit card without the consent of the owner can be punished as a crime.
  • Insurance Fraud: It is against the rules to present a false or fraudulent claim under an insurance policy for payment of a loss.
  • Welfare Fraud: Making a false statement or representation with the intent to deceive, or failing to disclose a material fact when applying for CalWORKs, CalFresh, MediCal, or any other state-sponsored program, is unlawful.
  • Embezzlement: Taking control of money or property belonging to another person or business is a criminal offense.
  • Tax Fraud: Failing to file a tax return, not providing the necessary information, or filing false documentation to avoid paying taxes is a crime.
  • Loan Fraud: Financial affairs of individuals and businesses are scrutinized more closely nowadays. Depending on the circumstances, loan and mortgage fraud may be charged either as a federal offense or as a state offense, with severe penalties if convicted, since the government is directly involved in mortgage lending.
  • Check Fraud: Passing or publishing a check with the intent to defraud the bank is unlawful. Forging someone’s signature, passing a fake check, or altering a check are all examples of check fraud.
  • Forgery: Signing a document with a false name or another person’s name in an effort to defraud is illegal. Fraud can also be committed by forging seals, falsifying someone’s handwriting, or altering legal documents to defraud another person or business.

Whether you are accused of one of the above crimes or a combination of them, contact a California fraud attorney immediately.

Potential Penalties for Fraud

A fraud crime in California can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. You may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the type of offense you committed.

Multiple factors affect what you will be charged with, including the statute, your criminal history, and the specifics of the case. Depending on the value of the money or property you allegedly obtained, you may be charged with fraud crimes like theft.

You can serve up to one year in jail and pay fines up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor offense. Depending on the crime, probation, community service, and restitution may also be imposed.

Statutory penalties for felonies are harsher. A felony can lead to prison time and fines exceeding $10,000. Statutory sentences for these offenses often have more than one option for prison. It is possible to be sentenced to prison for three, four, or five years for these offenses. The same penalties may apply as with misdemeanors, such as probation and restitution.

Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being accused or charged with a fraud crime. Your Los Angeles fraud lawyer can explain the potential penalties if you are charged with fraud.

Fraud Convictions and Their Consequences

If you are convicted of fraud, you will have a permanent criminal record, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. A conviction like this can delay your education. You may be unable to get financial aid or get into a college or university because of it.

Your career can be profoundly affected by a fraud crime. In some cases, it may prevent you from obtaining a professional license. Some positions and jobs requiring working with financial matters may be prohibited for you, or you may not be hired. In general, finding a good job may be difficult.

Fraud convictions can have a negative impact on your immigration status and child custody rights, in addition to school and work. As a result of a felony conviction, you cannot own or possess firearms.

California Fraud Attorneys Can Help

In the course of dealing with fraud charges, you can benefit from the assistance of an attorney. When you are the subject of an investigation, a lawyer will safeguard you against incriminating questions on the part of law enforcement agencies. 

Your attorney may ask that the charges be dropped or reduced if you have been charged by the prosecution or indicted by a grand jury.

In the event the charges proceed, your lawyer will prepare a strong defense, including arguments like:

  • An identity mistake has occurred
  • Your situation is a result of entrapment
  • False allegations are being made here
  • Evidence is insufficient
  • There was no intent to defraud anyone or any business on your part.

Are you being accused of a white-collar crime? You need to immediately get a competent fraud attorney specializing in criminal defense.

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