Fraud charges can arise in a number of different ways. In the grand scheme of things, many people look at fraud charges as being on the lower end of criminal charges.
However, a fraud conviction can result in significant jail time and monetary penalties.
Additionally, a fraud conviction can cause immeasurable damage to your reputation because of the implication that you are dishonest or untrustworthy.
With the rise of social media and technology, fraudulent schemes lurk around every corner.
If you are not careful, you could find yourself involved in a scheme that ends with you facing fraud charges.
A fraud lawyer in San Diego County is looking forward to hearing from you.
How Does California Define Fraud?
California Penal Code section 484 prohibits the use of fraud or deceit to obtain possession of money, labor, or personal property.
Anyone convicted under this section is guilty of theft. California separates theft into two categories: grand theft and petty theft. Grand theft occurs if the money, labor, or property stolen was valued at $950 or more.
Grand theft is also committed when certain items (e.g., agricultural products and animals, vehicles, and firearms) are stolen that have a lesser value.
If the property value is less than $950, it is considered petty theft.
If you are facing a criminal charge for fraudulent activity, the prosecutor must show that you willfully misrepresented the facts and intentionally deceived the alleged victim to gain compensation.
If you were the victim of a fraudulent scheme yourself and unknowingly defrauded another party, the prosecutor will likely have a difficult time securing a conviction.
A fraud attorney in San Diego County can present evidence of your circumstances and advocate to have your charges dismissed.
Other Criminal Offenses Involving Fraudulent Activity
In general, you commit fraud any time you commit an act that results in an unfair or undeserved benefit for yourself and results in a disadvantage to someone else.
In most cases, fraud is committed for financial gain. Many crimes arising from fraudulent conduct are referred to as “white-collar crimes,” such as:
- Money laundering,
- Insurance fraud, or
- Credit card fraud.
While some of these crimes are investigated at the state level, some fraud charges end up in federal courts.
For example, the federal government sponsors Medicare to give health insurance benefits to those who cannot otherwise afford them.
If someone is suspected of Medicare fraud, they may face charges in the federal court system.
Need a Fraud Lawyer in San Diego County? Contact The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, Today
While fraud crimes may seem relatively harmless compared to other criminal offenses, they carry hefty fines and long prison sentences.
A San Diego County fraud lawyer at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC can review your case and determine if a legal defense applies.
Our San Diego, California, criminal defense attorneys have defended thousands of criminal cases and understand the complexities of California fraud charges.
Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.