Criminal defense attorneys zealously defend clients facing California fraud charges.

Facing California fraud charges can be overwhelming. While most people understand what “fraud” means in its common usage, the legal definition of fraud is rather complex. Thus, it is not uncommon for someone who is facing a fraud offense to not fully understand what they are being accused of. However, prosecutors take these crimes very seriously, and anyone facing fraud allegations should reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney for immediate assistance.

California Fraud Defense Lawyers

At Amicus Legal Group, we aggressively defend clients who are facing a wide range of fraud offenses and white-collar crimes. We believe that great legal representation starts with a great team. We approach every case with the understanding that lawyers would not exist without clients, and our primary goal is to address each of our client’s individual needs. This may mean negotiating a favorable plea agreement so you can move on with your life, or fighting your case tooth-and-nail. When you decide to let Amicus Legal Group represent you in your California fraud case, it will be a decision we will make sure you do not regret.

California Fraud Offenses

The definition of fraud is hardly an easy one to understand. However, at its most basic level, fraud involves making a false statement intended to deceive another person for the person’s own gain. California has numerous fraud offense, including the following:

  • Check fraud
  • Health insurance fraud
  • Securities law fraud
  • Identity theft fraud
  • Foreclosure fraud

Each of these offenses has its own elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, to prove someone guilty of check fraud under California Penal Code 476, the prosecution must show that they 1.) “make, pass, publish or utter” a 2.) “fictitious or altered bill, note, or check” 3.) claiming the item is authentic. More simply stated, this requires the prosecution to prove someone had an altered or fake check and that they had the intent to use the item by claiming it was real. An example might be altering the amount on a check or forging an accountholder’s signature.

Punishments for Fraud Crimes in California

In California, most fraud offenses can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Because of this, these crimes are referred to as “wobbler offenses,” meaning whether a crime is a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on a person’s prior record as well as the facts of the case. Often, aside from someone’s criminal record, the most relevant fact when it comes to grading is the amount at stake. For example, the penalty for identity theft in California can range between 16 months to five years in jail, and between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for immediate assistance

If you have recently been arrested and charged with a California fraud crime, reach out to the criminal defense attorneys at Amicus Legal Group. The firm aggressively defends clients facing all types of fraud offenses. With decades of experience defending our clients’ freedom, we have what it takes to help you put these allegations behind you so you can move on with your life. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call us at (888) 588-1777. You can also reach us through our online form.

Potential defenses for a fraud charge

Almost every crime has two basic parts, and fraud is no exception. Thus, the prosecution must show that someone committed the “body” of the crime with the necessary knowledge. For example, if a friend gave someone a fake check, and they had no idea the check was fake, they could not be convicted of check fraud (assuming the jury believed that the defendant did not know the check was fake).

Understanding guilty mindset

The most common defense to a California fraud crime is that the defendant lacked the “guilty mindset” necessary to find them guilty. Other possible defenses include situations in which the defendant was themselves the victim of identity theft. Finally, if someone can prove that they were induced to commit the fraud by law enforcement, they may be able to claim the defense of entrapment.

Client testimonials quote

Client Testimonials

John-Paul is well known in our community as a smart and effective criminal defense lawyer who is sensitive to his clients’ situations and responsive to their needs. I refer my clients to him with confidence when they need help with the criminal justice system.

Lawrence Brock

Mr. Serrao worked on my DUI charge earlier this year and all I can say is WOW! Not only did he keep me updated with the case but his knowledge of the process helped calm my nerves, which was very important to me. He showed care for me as a client and I can’t thank him enough. I would recommend him to anyone in need of a quality criminal defense attorney.

Derrick J.

John-Paul took my civil case when no one else would because other lawyers didn’t have confidence in my daughter who has special needs to testify, if needed. John-Paul won her case against the school district without a jury because he cared about my child, believed she was honest and deserved justice. He still doesn’t mind taking my calls whenever I have a question regarding her case.

Dionne L.

Attorney John Paul-Serrao helped us to win our case against the insurance company after we were involved in a traffic accident where our car was rear ended, we tried to handle it ourselves with the insurance company and they did not want to cooperate with us, so we hired Mr. Serrao and he was able to get us a settlement above with the insurance company was willing to pay. I would highly recommend him.

Lupe G.

John-Paul is an extremely effective criminal defense attorney. The one thing that makes him stand out from other defense attorneys is that he talks to his clients to learn the circumstances surrounding their incident and then he makes a forceful and articulate argument in defense of his clients. I recommend my clients to John-Paul when they are in need of a criminal defense attorney because I know he will stand up for them.

Stephen Rinka

I had the pleasure of working a very large scale drug case with Mr. Serrao, representing co-defendants. Mr. Serrao was a pleasure to work with. Highly skilled and very aggressive in his advocacy on his client’s behalf. I highly recommend Mr. Serrao for anyone looking for a criminal defense attorney.

Babak Farahan

Occasionally you meet another attorney who is so impressive both personally and professionally that you want to be affiliated with them in any way you can both personally and professionally. That is how I feel about John-Paul. I not only consider him one of the finest attorneys I know, but I now proudly call him my friend. He is among the very best.

David Booth

John-Paul is a superb attorney. He was my mentor when I was in law school, and now as an attorney I still go to him for advice on complex cases. When my brother required representation I referred him to John-Paul. That is how highly I think of JP as an attorney. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs representation.

Kit Westbrook

Our legal team will collaborate and make sure attention is paid to every detail to ensure the best possible result for each client. We offer services in the following criminal defense areas:

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