Being charged with the crime of fraud is no joke. Under California Penal Code Section 484 PC anyone who uses fraud to obtain possession of money, property, or labor, is guilty of theft. A fraud conviction can seriously impact your freedom and your future. A conviction also typically ends with prison time and large fines. On top of that, some fraud crimes are federal crimes, which can result in severe penalties. If you are facing fraud charges in Los Angeles County, contact a Los Angeles fraud lawyer right away.
If you or someone you love have been charged with the crime of fraud, do not try to face it alone, after all it’s your freedom, reputation and potential future businesses that are at stake. Call the Law Offices of William Kroger for a free consultation at 323-655-5700.What is Fraud in California?
Fraud is a crime often portrayed on television shows and presented as an issue that usually takes place in business and amongst men in suits. But that’s not true, as fraud can take place in multiple different scenarios and on any socioeconomic level.
Fraud happens when someone gains something of value, such as money or property, from a victim by making a misrepresentation of a matter of fact. Oftentimes fraud occurs in the buying or selling of property, real estate and stocks, or in falsifying reports such as taxes and Medicare claims made to obtain benefits from the state or federal government.
Fraud is usually related to white collar crime, which includes:
- Tax evasion
- Securities fraud
- Welfare fraud
- Internet fraud
- Bank fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Insider trading bankruptcy fraud
Fraud is not easy to establish, simply because not all false statements are fraudulent. But once it is established, it’s punished pretty severely. Fraud is treated harsher than common theft because of the element of deceit and planning involved. Don’t try to face fraud charges alone, contact a Los Angeles fraud lawyer today.Penalties for Fraud in California
The government takes fraud charges very seriously, and the penalties for fraud are significant. A prosecutor will decide whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on your past criminal record. If the amount you are accused of taking is low, and if you have no previous convictions, your charge might be classified as a misdemeanor.
If you have a past criminal record, you will typically face harsher consequences. California law has something called the “white collar embellishment” which means that if there is a pattern of similar convictions, a sentence can be enhanced. So if you are facing a series of charges, or you have past convictions, you may get an additional 2-5 years added to your sentence.Defenses to Charges of Fraud
There are several defenses your lawyer can pursue to show that you should not be convicted of fraud.
You did not use fraud or deceit to obtain the possession in question. If the evidence against you is circumstantial, and if there’s no confession, your attorney can argue that you should not be charged with fraud.
You did not intent to permanently take the property from the owner. You must have intended to permanently deprive the victim of the possession, otherwise your attorney can argue that you cannot be charged with fraud.
It doesn’t matter if the fraud crime a person is charged with involves a few dollars or five million dollars, because many forms of fraud are federal crimes and can land you in prison for numerous years. If you’ve been charged with the crime of fraud in Los Angeles County, contact a fraud attorney serving Los Angeles right away. Call the Kroger Law Group so we can discuss your options as soon as possible. You need a knowledgeable lawyer who will help you navigate this scary situation. We have extensive experience handling fraud charges. Call us for a free consultation at 323-655-5700.