Fredericksburg Fraud Lawyer

Fraud is taken seriously in Fredericksburg and heavily penalized if convicted. The factual details in every identity fraud case are different. Identity fraud charges are based on the intent of the accused. Common defenses for ID fraud case include having the authority or permission from the person defrauded or mistake by the accused. An attorney that knows that you are under investigation for a fraud charge will assist you in protecting yourself during the investigation process.

A Fredericksburg fraud lawyer understands what to look for while investigating a fraud case, knows what types of defense strategies may be available, and knows the proper strategy for preparing the defense. Bringing an attorney in before charges are filed against you, gives the attorney the opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive to the potential charges.

Common Offenses

There are three big fraud charges in Virginia:

  • Forgery and uttering
  • False pretenses
  • Bad checks

A forgery and uttering charge occurs when an individual forges a bank note or check and it is a classified felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $2,500 fine. A false pretenses charge occurs when an individual obtains money, gift certificate(s), or property from another, by false pretense with the intent to defraud. This is a Class 4 felony, which may be penalized with up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

A charge for issuing bad checks occurs when an individual makes, draws, or orders delivery of any check, knowing that there are insufficient funds to cover the payment. If the value of the checks is less than $200, it is a misdemeanor, but if the check is $200 or more it is classified as a felony.

Other examples of fraud include, but are not limited to, false pretenses to gain credit, forging public documents, failure to perform duties after receiving payment in advance, and simple credit card fraud. Each of these charges is treated extremely seriously and should be discussed with a fraud attorney in Fredericksburg.

Identity Fraud

Identity fraud or identity theft occurs when an individual uses another person’s identifying information, without permission, with intent to defraud, for their own use, the use of a third person, or to sell or distribute the information to another.

It is the practice of obtaining money, private information, government records, or identifying documents in that person’s name. Identity fraud or theft also occurs when an individual uses the name of another to avoid summons or a larceny charge.

Penalties

The higher the value of the item, money, or gifts being defrauded, the more severe the charge and the corresponding penalties will be. Whenever there is a risk of incarceration, hiring a Fredericksburg fraud attorney is essential.

If it is a first offense and the financial loss is less than $200, it is a class one misdemeanor, which is punishing with up to 12 months in jail and $2,500 fine. If the financial loss is $200 or more the charge is a class six felony, which may be penalized up to five years in jail and a fine of $2,500. The potential penalties vary, so an attorney will be most helpful in determining the potential penalties someone will actually face in their scenario.

Hiring a Fredericksburg Fraud Attorney

When a client has a fraud charge, it is imperative for a Fredericksburg fraud attorney to conduct a full investigation on what was defrauded, where was it defrauded from, and how that information was discovered. It is also important in a fraud investigation to compile evidence, which consists of any necessary records. Those records may include those from financial institutions and businesses, to determine where the fraud occurred.

A local Fredericksburg fraud lawyer is familiar with the institution, officers, and attorneys involved. This can aid in the investigation of the case and help provide a realistic view of the possible outcomes of the case going forward. An attorney knows how to maneuver in court. An experienced attorney knows where to go, what to say, and when to say it. Additionally, the lawyer also has knowledge of the law in the case to counter that of opposing counsel, which is necessary to be successful.

In court, your attorney is your proverbial shield and sword. A skilled attorney gives you peace of mind because they will assist you with your case at every stage, including working with you to prepare a defense to protect you and your future interests.