Hanover Fraud Lawyer

Being charged with fraud in Hanover can mean a lot of different things. The Virginia code devotes an entire chapter to fraud crimes, many of which are felonies. So, if you are facing fraud charges, it is important to understand specifically which laws are involved, the potential ramifications, and your options for fighting the charges.

An experienced Hanover fraud lawyer could explain your position and work toward an affirmative outcome. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer could also advocate strenuously on your behalf, providing advice and serving as your ally throughout the process.

Legal Meaning of Fraud

Many people in Hanover use the term “fraud” to refer to anything that seems unfair, but in legal terms, fraud has a much more specific meaning. Overall, someone may be said to commit fraudulent conduct when they intentionally make a false statement about an important fact, intending for others to rely on that statement, and others do rely on that false statement and suffer harm as a result.

Fraud may be treated as both a crime and a tort. This means that the government may penalize someone for fraud with fines and jail time, and those who were harmed by the fraud may file a civil lawsuit to seek recovery of compensation for their loss.

Common Fraud Crimes

The state criminal code describes numerous types of offenses involving fraudulent conduct. Some of the more common fraud crimes include:

  • Credit card forgery
  • Identity theft
  • Issuing bad checks
  • Forging money or documents
  • Obtaining money by false pretense
  • Misrepresentations connected with sales
  • Money laundering
  • Possession of unlawful electronic communication device

State law provides specific descriptions of each type of offense and the penalties for those offenses. Intent is an important element in theft crimes, so it is important to collect evidence that demonstrates the intent behind an action.

Identity Theft

Identity theft may be treated as a fairly simple misdemeanor or a serious felony, depending on the circumstances. Va. Code Ann. §18.2-186.3 prohibits taking identifying information without authorization to obtain money, credit, documents or certain other benefits. The statute distinguishes between situations where this information is taken for the use of one person and where the information is taken to sell or distribute to others.

The penalties for this offense depend on the value of the loss suffered, the existence of prior convictions, and the number of persons whose identifying information has been appropriated.

If the loss due to identity theft is less than $500 and there are no prior convictions, then it is treated as Class 1 misdemeanor and those convicted may be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. In all other cases, identity theft is considered a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony with penalties that can include many years in prison.

Credit Card Crimes

Fraud crimes involving credit cards include credit card theft, credit card forgery, and credit card fraud. Credit card theft occurs when someone takes the credit card or card number of another person with the intent to use or sell it. A person commits credit card forgery if they create a false card, sign someone else’s card, or use someone else’s card number. Credit card fraud occurs when someone uses a card known to be stolen, revoked or expired to obtain goods or services. In most instances, these crimes are prosecuted as felonies.

Consult with a Hanover Fraud Attorney Today

Unless the amount involved is very small, fraud offenses are often treated as felonies with very serious criminal penalties. Moreover, when you are associated with fraud, the damage to your reputation can be difficult to overcome.

If you are facing fraud charges, it is wise to consult a Hanover fraud lawyer as soon as possible to take steps to minimize the consequences and begin building the best possible defense. For a free consultation, call now.