Fraud often falls within the category of “white collar” criminal offenses, perhaps because it frequently arises in businesses or financial institutions. Typically, these offenses are primarily financial transactions made for personal gain and do not involve any element of force or violence. Nonetheless, the penalties can be harsh, and building an effective defense may require the knowledge and experience of an Allen fraud lawyer.
Most fraud charges are misdemeanors, although some can be felonies if the scheme results in losses of large amounts of money. In either case, the potential penalties can include sentences of incarceration. If you face fraud charges, a criminal defense attorney could fight for a positive resolution to your case with a minimal impact on your professional and personal life.
Common Types of Fraud
Federal and state law both establish various fraud offenses. For help understanding the nature of specific charges, individuals could reach out to an Allen fraud attorney.
Check fraud includes a variety of illegal actions, including:
- Stealing an unsigned check from another person
- Using a check that belongs to others without their permission
- Accepting a stolen check for payment from another
- Writing bad checks, or writing checks with the knowledge that there are insufficient funds in the account
Check fraud is typically a misdemeanor offense, but a conviction still creates a permanent criminal record for a crime of dishonesty. Furthermore, individuals are likely liable for repaying the value of the check to those who suffered financial losses as a result of the fraud.
Identity theft, or fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, is generally a felony offense according to Texas Penal Code § 32.51. This crime involves obtaining, possessing, or using the identifying information of others with the intent to commit fraud for personal gain. Identifying information can include but is not limited to names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.
Credit Card Fraud
Using another’s credit or debit card to commit fraud also is unlawful under Tex. Pen. Code § 32.31. This offense occurs when individuals use credit cards that do not belong to them without the consent of the owners, using or attempting to use expired or canceled credit cards and using credit cards obtained by using false information.
Forgery is a broad term that encompasses many different unlawful acts under Tex. Pen. Code § 32.21. This offense often occurs in conjunction with other fraud offenses. For example, if individuals forge the signature of others to obtain personally identifying information, with the intent of using it fraudulently, they have committed both identity theft and forgery.
Regardless of the circumstances, forgery always involves some unauthorized or false modifications to a document. Forgery offenses can be misdemeanors or felonies in some cases, usually when the forgery involves an essential legal document. A fraud lawyer in Allen may be able to help evaluate any forgery charges and determine whether they are appropriate, given the facts of the case.
Consult an Allen Fraud Attorney
Fraud charges are a serious matter, and a conviction could result in harsh legal penalties. Additionally, a fraud conviction can make it difficult to obtain employment or work in specific industries, such as the financial or legal fields.
With the help of an Allen fraud lawyer, you may be able to avoid some of these consequences. Call today to begin working towards a favorable resolution of your fraud case.