Fraud encompasses many distinct crimes. While each of these crimes has unique elements, each crime of fraud includes the intent to deceive another person either to cause a loss of something of value (for example, money, goods, or services) or to cause damage to a legal, financial, property right. As an Orange County fraud defense lawyer, I am familiar with the nuances of these offenses.
A crime of fraud does not require that actual loss or damage occur, only that by the act, the intention was to cause that loss or damage. For example, if someone attempts to purchase an item with a fraudulently produced credit card, and even if no purchase is actually made on the card because the purchase is denied at the point of sale, the crime of credit card fraud has already been committed by the use of the fraudulent card.Crimes of fraud include:
- Forgery (Penal Code §470)
- Counterfeiting (Penal Code §472)
- Possession of forged or counterfeited documents with intent to defraud (Penal Code §475)
- Check fraud (Penal Code §476)
- Filing false documents (Penal Code §115)
- Credit card fraud (Penal Code §484)
- Check fraud (Penal Code §476)
- Insurance fraud (Penal Code §550)
- Making, obtaining, or making use of false financial statements (Penal Code §532)
- Identity theft (Penal Code §530.5)
A fraud conviction, even if convicted as a misdemeanor and even when the act is seemingly a minor one, can have serious consequences. For example, many employment opportunities that involve any degree of trust will be closed forever to someone convicted of fraud. It is essential that a person accused of any fraudulent act consult an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Depending upon the circumstances of the alleged crime, an experienced Orange County fraud defense attorney can often get the charges dismissed or a conviction on a lesser crime.
I am an experienced criminal defense attorney with proven results and I promise to vigorously defend your rights to the full extent of the law. I have successfully defended hundreds of clients, including those charged with acts of fraud. Contact me at any time to set up a confidential consultation with a fraud defense attorney in Orange County without charge. I will work with you and your family to provide a fee structure that best suits your circumstances.SENTENCING
Many fraud crimes are charged as misdemeanors, but some are serious felonies. The punishment for these crimes can range from probation to many years imprisonment in state prison when, for example, someone suffers a physical injury by the fraudulent act or when the person who commits the fraud has a criminal history. Factors that are often determinative of the punishment include the amount of loss or damage, previous criminal history of the defendant, and the number of fraudulent transactions that occurred in the totality of the crime. Many of these crimes may be prosecuted by the federal government, sometimes even in addition to the state's prosecution, but under separate federal statute and liability. A fraud defense lawyer in Orange County can guide you through these complex situations.