If you or a loved one is being charged with or investigated for insurance fraud in California, you should immediately contact Orange County insurance fraud lawyer, William Weinberg. Depending on the dollar amount of the fraud a defendant has committed, a conviction for insurance fraud could result in a $50,000 fine, as well as a maximum prison sentence of 5 years. So, make sure you hire an attorney as quickly as possible if you’ve been charged with insurance fraud.
California has enacted tough insurance fraud laws to prevent people from making false insurance claims to obtain payment under false circumstances. So, if you believe that you’re being investigated for insurance fraud or are being charged with it, you should seek the help of an experienced insurance fraud attorney immediately.What Constitutes Insurance Fraud in California?
In California, an individual can be convicted of insurance fraud for several reasons. Here are some of the most common types of insurance fraud that defendants are charged with:
The first most charged type of insurance fraud occurs when an individual makes a false claim to obtain payment for a loss or injury that a person suffered. For example, if an individual gets into a car accident and claims that he has neck pain to obtain payment for neck pain treatment, when in fact, he does not, he could be charged with insurance fraud.
The second most common type of insurance fraud occurs when an individual makes multiple insurance claims for the same loss or injury that he suffered. For example, if an individual gets into a car accident and makes a claim to insurance company A and insurance company B for the same loss to obtain double payment, he can be charged with and convicted for insurance fraud under California Penal Code Section 550 because it’s illegal to make multiple insurance claims with intent to defraud an insurance company. So, if you find yourself or a loved one in the unfortunate situation of being charged with insurance fraud, please contact Orange County insurance fraud lawyer, William Weinberg to defend you.
The third most common type of insurance fraud occurs when an individual causes a car accident or participates in an automobile collision to defraud an insurance company. For example, if an individual makes an agreement with another driver to fake a car accident so that they can collect insurance proceeds, both individuals may be charged with and convicted with insurance fraud.
The fourth most common type of insurance fraud involves making a false claim for payment for loss, theft, or destruction of a vehicle. For example, if an individual has an old vehicle that he wants to get rid of and he sets the car on fire to claim insurance proceeds, he may be charged with and convicted of insurance fraud because his actions involve making a false claim for destruction of his vehicle because he most likely lied to the insurance about how the car was destroyed.
Here are some other common types of insurance fraud in California:
- Knowingly making or preparing any writing with intent to make a fraudulent insurance claim
- Making a false claim for payment of a healthcare benefit
- Making multiple insurance claims for payment of the same health benefit
- Claiming that you sustained more injury or losses than you actually suffered from a car accident
For the prosecution to convict an individual for insurance fraud, the prosecution must prove that an individual acted knowingly. So, if the facts of your case support it, Mr. Weinberg may be able to provide a defense on the grounds that you did not knowingly act to commit insurance fraud. For example, if you’re charged with insurance fraud because you made two different insurance claims for the same car accident, Mr. Weinberg may be able to argue that you did not know that you were making two separate claims to get paid twice for the same accident and that you were only reporting the accident to both insurance companies.
Another defense that your attorney may invoke is that you did not know that making two separate insurance claims is illegal. If you thought it was legal to make two insurance claims, you might have a good defense against your insurance fraud charges.
Also, your attorney may be able to argue that you’re falsely being accused of insurance fraud. For example, if you’re being charged with submitting an exaggerated insurance claim for an injury that you sustained, Mr. Weinberg will do his best to argue that the charges against you are not warranted because the injuries that you incurred were severe enough to warrant presenting a large insurance claim.
If the evidence collected against you was illegally obtained, Mr. Weinberg can file a motion to suppress the illegally collected evidence so that it’s not used against you. If successful, the charges against you may be dropped entirely or the prosecutor may offer you a favorable plea deal.
Other defenses may apply to your specific case. To find out what legal defenses apply to your case, you should contact Mr. Weinberg, insurance fraud attorney in Orange County to schedule a consultation. During your consultation, Mr. Weinberg will discuss the specific facts of your case, as well as some of the defenses that can be used in your case.Punishment For California Insurance Fraud
If the amount of insurance fraud exceeds $950, the prosecution typically charges a defendant with felony insurance fraud. Felony insurance fraud is punishable by 2 to 5 years of imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $50,000.
If the amount of insurance fraud does not exceed $950, the prosecution typically charges a defendant with misdemeanor insurance fraud. Misdemeanor insurance fraud is punishable by a maximum of 6 months in county jail and a fine up to $1000.
However, if a person commits several instances of insurance fraud and the total amount of fraud exceeds $950 during a 12 month period, the district attorney has the option of charging the defendant with felony insurance fraud that’s punishable with 2 to 5 years of prison time, as well as a maximum fine of up to $50,000.Offenses Related to Insurance Fraud
When bringing charges against an individual, the district attorney may bring several related charges. In California, insurance fraud may be brought along with other charges, such as (1) auto insurance fraud by damaging or abandoning a vehicle, (2) soliciting auto insurance fraud, or (3) obtaining a kickback from an auto repair shop.
Again, if you or a loved one is being charged with or investigated for insurance fraud, please immediately call Mr. Weinberg, insurance fraud attorney in Orange County. Mr. Weinberg is experienced in defending insurance fraud charges in California and will do his best to defend you in a court of law.