Alameda Fraud Lawyer
Prosecutors pursue fraud charges aggressively. If you are facing charges, an Alameda fraud lawyer may be able to help you determine the best course of action in your case and begin building a strong defense on your behalf.
A fraud conviction could result in more than jail time and fines. If convicted of a fraud offense, you will likely suffer from job loss, suspension or revocation of professional licenses, and an inability to work in specific industries. Retaining the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer could be crucial when you are facing these potentially serious consequences.
Defining Fraud in Alameda
Fraud refers to all false representations of facts, whether through words, actions, writings, or concealing information. False representations must accompany an intent to deceive others and unfairly gain or cause losses to another as a result of the deception. As a fraud lawyer in Alameda may advise, the penalties for fraud can be extremely severe based on nature and the extent of the fraud that occurred.
California law establishes various types of fraud, including check fraud, identity theft, health insurance fraud, credit card fraud, money laundering, and more. In many cases, the value of the loss to the targets of the fraud directly impacts the potential penalties in the event of a conviction.
Under California Penal Code § 476, individuals commit check fraud when they intentionally possess, create, use, pass, or try to pass false or altered checks to perpetrate a fraud on others. For instance, check fraud would include endorsing a check by signing the name of others without their consent or altering the amount for which the check is written. Check fraud is punishable under state forgery laws as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the situation.
Cal. Pen. Code § 530.5 makes it illegal to commit identity theft, which involves defrauding someone using their personal identifying information. For example, stealing the identifying information of others and using it to unlawfully purchase goods or services would constitute identity theft under this definition. Like check fraud, identity theft can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit fraud is unlawful under Cal. Pen. Code § 484e-j. Various types of credit card fraud exist, including stealing credit cards belonging to others, forging information to obtain a credit card in the name of another without consent, intentionally using invalid credit cards to purchase goods, and creating counterfeit credit cards. Whether these offenses constitute misdemeanors or felonies depends on the nature of the fraud and the amount of funds involved in the fraud scheme.
White Collar Crimes in Alameda
Fraud is one of many so-called white-collar crimes because the persons accused of these crimes often commit them in the context of their workplaces. Government offices, accounting and law firms, financial advising firms, and other professional businesses often are the targets of various fraud schemes. This classification also refers to the fact that these crimes rarely involve any physical harm, force, threats, or violence to others.
Nonetheless, the financial losses that may result from white-collar crimes can be significant, which tends to result in the aggressive prosecution of fraud crimes at both the state and federal levels. A fraud attorney in Alameda may be able to evaluate individual situations and determine the scope of the potential sanctions that may arise from the various fraud offenses.
Talk to an Alameda Fraud Attorney for Help
When you first become aware that you may be under investigation for fraud, the best way to protect yourself is to contact an Alameda fraud lawyer right away. Any questioning by your supervisor, company officials, or law enforcement authorities could result in accidental self-incrimination or other setbacks to your case. Having experienced legal representation could be crucial to maintaining your personal freedom.