If you’ve ever signed your name on another person’s check or legal document without thinking about the consequences, you may be surprised at how serious the repercussions could be. Committing fraud in California can result in serious penalties like time in jail and substantial fines—even if the crime didn’t involve large sums of money.
Most fraud crimes are committed with the intent of financial gain, ranging from auto insurance fraud to welfare fraud. But sometimes a person is wrongly charged with fraud, when they never had the intent to deceive or benefit financially. The team at the Law Offices of Bradley Corbett is here to help you understand all of the nuances of fraud in California.
What is Fraud in California?
According to California law, fraud is when a person intends to deceive in order to get personal gain, or to damage another person or company. This might occur when a person uses someone else’s credit card, when someone uses false information to get a home mortgage, or when a person provides inaccurate information in order to get welfare benefits.
In order to pursue a fraud conviction, California prosecutors usually need to prove a motive to get financial gain and/or a motive to avoid criminal responsibility.
Types of Fraud in California
There are laws against many types of fraud in California, and each type has its own penalties and possible defenses. Some of the most common types of fraud in California include:
Penalties For Fraud
Most fraudulent acts are considered white-collar crimes, set apart from other laws relating to theft, forgery, and perjury in California. Fraud crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the situation. A misdemeanor fraud could result in a fine of $1,000 and a year in jail, while a felony fraud could result in a $10,000 fine and up to 3 years in state prison. The penalties for felony fraud could be even more severe in very serious cases.
Defenses Against Fraud
There are many potential defenses for fraud crimes. For example, a fraud attorney may be able to defend a person convicted of writing bad checks by proving that the person believed there was enough money in the account to cover the difference, or that the person communicated that there wasn’t enough money in the account before the check was delivered.
Similarly, an auto fraud attorney may be able to defend their client by proving that the person did not intend to defraud the auto insurance carried or that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict the person of auto fraud.
Generally, the right fraud attorney can build a legal defense against fraud by proving there was no malicious intent, that there was a case of mistaken identity, or that the person was coerced into committing the crime.
Why You Need a Fraud Attorney
There are countless laws relating to fraud in California, making it extremely difficult for the average person to build their own defense against fraud charges. This is why it’s vital to have an experienced fraud attorney on your side. A knowledgeable attorney like Bradley R. Corbett can build a sound legal defense, present the case clearly and effectively in court, and answer questions relating to the case.
Hire Bradley Corbett Today
Have you been charged with fraud in the San Diego area? Don’t wait until it’s too late—hire the Law Offices of Bradley Corbett to help fight your case. Whether you need an experienced San Diego auto fraud attorney, foreclosure fraud attorney, or any other type of criminal defense attorney, we’re here for you. We have the knowledge necessary to help protect your freedom. Contact us today to discuss your case.