Fraud offenses make up a sizeable portion of the state criminal code. In addition, common law fraud may play a role in criminal cases, and fraudulent conduct may also provide the basis for a civil lawsuit.
Not only are the criminal penalties for fraud often severe, but the additional consequences of having fraud on your record can cause difficulties for years into the future. Because fraud crimes involve deceit, a conviction could make people think twice before doing business with you in future.
Fortunately, a Richardson fraud lawyer may be able to help. An experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to fight fraud charges could collect evidence to build a strong defense and advocate on your behalf to help minimize any negative consequences.
Fraud crimes, as well as torts involving fraud, share the common element of deceit. Essentially, fraud occurs when someone uses a form of deception such as false or misleading information to wrongfully obtain something of value from another person.
Under the traditional legal definition handed down by courts, also known as a common law definition, fraud can be proven when someone knowingly makes a false statement with the intent to deceive another person, the other person relies on the false statement, and the target then suffers harm or loss as a result.
However, it can be difficult for prosecutors to prove that someone acted with the intent to deceive another. An Richardson fraud attorney may look for evidence to show that no such intent existed.
Common Fraud Crimes in Richardson
As commercial transactions take new and different forms, each creates an opportunity for a different type of fraud. State lawmakers have reacted by creating numerous different fraud crimes to fit various circumstances. Some examples of fraud common in Richardson are:
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Health care fraud
- Tax fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Money laundering
- Adoption fraud
Each of these offenses has specific elements which must be proven in order for prosecutors to obtain a conviction. A fraud attorney in Richardson could fully explain the elements that prosecutors must prove in a particular case.
Potential Penalties Upon Conviction
Since fraud is prosecuted under different criminal statutes, the penalties vary depending on the specific charge. For example, credit card fraud is considered a state jail felony, which is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the offense is committed against an “elderly individual,” then the crime may be treated as a third-degree felony with penalties that include up to ten years of imprisonment in addition to a fine.
Penalties for fraud crimes such as identity theft have even more variation. The offense may be treated as a state jail felony, like credit card fraud, or as a first, second, or third-degree felony. Maximum prison sentences therefore range from 10 years for a third-degree felony to 99 years for a first-degree felony.
Consult a Richardson Fraud Attorney
Because the intent to deceive is an element in many fraud cases, defending against these charges is often different from other crimes. For this reason, it is advisable to work with a defense attorney familiar with strategies that could succeed in fraud cases.
When you work with a Richardson fraud lawyer, your attorney serves as your advocate from start to finish, fighting to protect your rights and your record. A knowledgeable defense attorney could collect evidence to demonstrate lack of fraudulent intent or other elements to defeat the prosecution’s attempts to establish a case. To learn more about your options, call today and schedule a consultation.