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In California, crimes involving fraud are generally pursued very aggressively by prosecutors. That’s why it is important to consult with a Martinez fraud lawyer if you are suspected of committing – or you have already been charged with – any sort of crime involving an alleged misrepresentation of information. An experienced criminal attorney could investigate the alleged crime, gather vital evidence, and work in your best interest every step of the way. En Español

What are the Different Types Of Fraud Charges In California?

The term “fraud” generally refers to situations where someone intentionally misrepresents important information for the purpose of inducing someone else to do, or not do, something that results in an undeserved benefit for the person making the misrepresentation.

Fraud can also be committed when someone knowingly withholds or fails to convey a fact to someone else and that omission results in a similar undeserved benefit for the person who failed to make the disclosure.

In California, there are numerous statutes involving specific types of criminal fraud. These include, but are not limited to bank fraud, credit card fraud, financial fraud, insurance fraud, mail fraud, and public benefits fraud.

Elements of Criminal Fraud

Although each type of fraud has some unique elements, every type of charge generally requires the prosecution to prove the following elements in order to obtain a conviction:

  • The alleged perpetrator made a material misrepresentation or withheld a material fact
  • The defendant knew that the misrepresentation was false – or that the omission was important
  • The misrepresentation or omission caused someone else to do, or not do, something to their disadvantage
  • The result of the misrepresentation or omission was an unfair benefit to the defendant or an unfair loss to the alleged victim

A person may unintentionally misrepresent information, or not know the information he or she omitted was required. A skilled attorney in Martinez could investigate the facts surrounding the alleged fraud and establish the appropriate defense.

Potential Consequences for Misrepresenting Information

In California, a fraudulent act can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. The severity of the charge depends on the specific facts of the case, the amount of the resulting gain or loss, and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

A conviction on a criminal fraud charge will generally result in a fine and a period of imprisonment. In addition, anyone who is convicted of a fraud crime may also be subject to a civil lawsuit that can result in a judgment for financial damages. An experienced Martinez lawyer could explain the impact a criminal and civil case could have on someone accused of fraudulent activity.

How Can Someone Defend Against Fraud Charges?

Since anyone who is convicted of any type of fraud charge may end up with a permanent criminal record, a potential jail or state prison sentence, and even harsh immigration consequences,  it is extremely important that anyone who is facing such charges take full advantage of their legal rights. The most important thing that anyone can do if they are questioned about their possible involvement in an alleged fraud is to refuse to answer any questions until they can consult with a Martinez lawyer.

Available defenses against fraudulent activity charges will depend on the details of the case. However, an experienced attorney may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced. In some cases, it is best to negotiate a plea deal that includes reduced penalties.

If the case actually goes to trial, the defense can assert that the alleged misrepresentation or omission did not involve a material fact or the defendant did not intentionally misrepresent or withhold anything of importance. An attorney could also argue that the victim did not act based on the alleged misrepresentation or omission or that the alleged misrepresentation or omission did not cause any financial loss.

Speak with an Martinez Fraud Attorney Today

If you are facing any type of fraud charge, it is important that you discuss the details of your case with an Martinez fraud lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so could help ensure that all your legal rights are protected and that you have all the information you need to make important decisions about your case. Schedule your initial case consultation today.

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