Alameda Insurance Fraud Lawyer
Allegations that you tried to take advantage of the insurance claims process and submit false or fraudulent claims can be devastating to both your personal and professional life. Given the serious repercussions these charges can have, consulting an Alameda insurance fraud lawyer for advice and representation may be helpful. Enlisting the assistance of a criminal defense attorney may be the most effective means of defending yourself against insurance fraud charges.
Defining Insurance Fraud Under State Law
Insurance fraud can occur in various ways, but some types of insurance fraud occur more commonly than others. In most cases, policyholders or service providers attempt to claim insurance benefits to which they are not entitled under their policies.
Some of the most common ways that individuals or businesses allegedly commit insurance fraud include:
- Filing fraudulent claims
- Intentionally causing losses through theft or arson
- Staging motor vehicle accidents
- Faking losses or damages that did not occur
Other actions that may qualify as insurance fraud include filing a false claim for workers’ compensation benefits, making any false written or oral statements related to an erroneous or fictitious insurance claim, and filing multiple claims for payment of the same health care benefits.
Insurance fraud may involve all types of insurance policies, such as motor vehicle insurance, property insurance, and even medical insurance. Regardless of the circumstances, any action taken to mislead an insurance company intentionally and unlawfully collect benefits constitutes insurance fraud under state law. By consulting an Alameda insurance fraud attorney, you may be able to build a solid defense to the accusations against you.
Insurance Fraud Criminal Charges
Some types of insurance fraud cases are prosecuted almost exclusively at the federal level, such as Medicare and Medicaid fraud by medical providers. However, many fraud cases are charged in state court.
Generally, insurance fraud claims consist of the following elements:
- Knowing and intentionally committing the insurance fraud
- Completion of the intended insurance fraud
- Having the intent to commit fraud and completing the fraud at the same time
Although insurance fraud requires completion of the act to commit the fraud, there is no requirement that the accused individuals receive any benefits or payout from the insurance company. Even if the insurance company or legal authorities discover the fraud before any money changes hands, you can still face criminal charges for insurance fraud.
Penalties for Insurance Fraud in Alameda
California Penal Code §550 sets forth the potential sanctions that may follow a conviction for insurance fraud. Various factors can affect the severity of the charge and the resulting penalties, including the monetary value of the fraudulent or falsified claim as well as any history of prior convictions on the defendant’s part.
For a first-time insurance fraud conviction, you may face up to six months in county jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. Subsequent and/or more severe offenses may be punished by up to five years in state prison, a maximum $50,000 fine, or both.
A felony conviction also can result in collateral consequences, including probation, loss of employment opportunities, and loss of the ability to obtain specific government benefits. An insurance fraud lawyer in Alameda could explain these penalties further.
Seek the Services of an Alameda Insurance Fraud Attorney Today
State law enforcement officials take allegations of insurance fraud very seriously. As a result, there have been increased prosecutions of individuals and businesses accused of various types of insurance fraud in recent years.
If you are accused of insurance fraud, take immediate action to protect yourself and your rights by contacting an Alameda insurance fraud lawyer. Having legal counsel to represent your interests from the outset of your case can be highly advantageous to you.