Have you been accused of committing auto insurance fraud? Perhaps you had a lapse in judgment that lead to bad decisions. Maybe you have even been wrongly accused when you know you’re not guilty in the least. Whatever circumstance you’re in, Bradley Corbett can help as a highly experienced auto insurance fraud attorney in San Diego.
Auto Insurance Fraud Defined
In California, the legal definition of auto insurance fraud means that:
1. an individual submitted a claim to an auto insurance carrier that they knew was fraudulent
2. they submitted the claim with intentions to defraud the insurance company
The definition of “intent to fraud” can involve either concealing the truth or making false representations in order to gain a financial benefit from the insurance companies.
California auto insurance fraud involves several specific violations that are covered by California Penal Codes 548, 549, 550, 551 PC and under the Business and Professions Code section 810. Some of these violations include:
- Intentionally disposing of, destroying, or damaging your property or another’s property for the purpose of submitting an insurance claim
- Staging an accident with the intent to submit fraudulent property loss or personal injury claims
- Claiming you live in a different area than your permanent residence in order to get a cheaper insurance premium
Auto insurance fraud can also be committed by businesses and health care professionals. Some examples include:
- Dealers or auto repair shops offering commissions or kickbacks to insurance adjusters in exchange for referrals
- Referring someone to a medical professional or auto body shop knowing that they have intent to file a fraudulent insurance claim
Fighting an Auto Insurance Fraud Charge
Because the instance of auto insurance fraud is so high state side, the California Department of Insurance (DOI) has a division specifically dedicated to auto insurance fraud. Throughout California, many DA offices also have special auto insurance fraud units that work in conjunction with the DOI. Unfortunately, these special units are known for less-than-quality investigations, judgments that are rushed or lack substance, and overly harsh prosecutions.
At the Law Offices of Bradley Corbett, we deal with San Diego auto insurance fraud cases often. We know what arguments the prosecution will make to try and find you guilty of every charge possible. Our expert legal team will examine your case closely and use the strongest and most relevant arguments to fight for your rights. Some of the most common defenses for auto insurance fraud charges include:
- Having no intent to defraud
- Insufficient evidence to prove guilty
- Plea bargaining for dismissal of more serious charges in exchange for pleading guilty to reduced charges
Penalties for Auto Insurance Fraud in California
Those who are charged with auto insurance fraud can be convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the individual’s criminal history, the severity of the crime, etc. Misdemeanor charges can result in informal probation, up to one year in a county jail, and a maximum fine of $50,000 or double the amount of the fraud, whichever is greater. Felony charges, on the other hand, can result in formal probation, up to five years in state prison, maximum of double the amount of the fraud or $50,000, whichever is greater. If those convicted of a felony charge are health care professionals, they can face suspension or revocation of their license or certificate.
Call Bradley Corbett Today
Whether the insurance adjusters have caught onto a decision you made during a lapse of judgment, or whether you know you are completely innocent of the insurance crime you’re being accused of, Bradley Corbett can help. We give every client the attention they need to get the best outcome for their case, regardless of the charges surrounding it. Contact the Law Offices of Bradley Corbett today for a free case consultation.