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.
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