Oakland Fraud Lawyer
Sometimes, fraud allegations arise out of simple mistakes, or from someone merely trying to gain an honest advantage. However, even if fraud charges come as a surprise, the potential penalties for a conviction can still be extremely harsh.
Many allegations of fraud are charged under the State of California’s theft statutes, while others are charged as allegations of forgery. Either way, fraud charges can be complex and have myriad potential penalties, ranging from monetary fines to years in prison.
No matter the form of fraud that you are facing, an Oakland fraud lawyer may be able to help. A dedicated criminal attorney could listen to your side of the story with patience and understanding and work to form a defense that best fits their needs.
What Actions are Considered Fraud in Oakland?
The core concept of fraud is a simple one. Any time that a person intentionally takes an action designed to deceive another person out of ownership of property or a legal right, they commit an act of fraud.
For the most part, Oakland courts treat allegations of fraud as instances of larceny. According to California Penal Code §484, it is illegal for any person to steal the property of another. Included within this definition is the concept of theft by fraud.
Allegations of theft by fraud are punished according to the monetary value of the items or property allegedly taken. For all items valued at under $950, the case may be charged as petty theft. A conviction here could be punished by no more than six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
If the value of the items exceeds $950, the defendant could be charged with grand theft instead. This increases the potential penalties to a maximum of one year in jail.
Beyond the simple classification of fraud as theft, the California Penal Code also contains specific statutes intended to punish other activities that may be considered fraudulent. One key example of this is forgery.
California Penal Code §470 makes it illegal for any person to alter, forge, counterfeit, or falsely sign any document that carries legal weight. This can include checks, wills, deeds, bills of exchange, or promissory notes. The maximum penalty for a conviction here is three years in prison, although prosecutors generally have the authority to determine how harsh the potential penalties for a fraud conviction may be.
Other examples of fraudulent activities prohibited by California law include credit card fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, and bank fraud. Every case is unique and the potential consequences for a conviction may change on a case by case basis. Working with an Oakland fraud lawyer could provide people with a better understanding of the law and the potential consequences for a conviction.
Allegations of fraud in Oakland’s criminal courts are always a cause for concern. Whether the charges are pursued by the prosecutor as examples of petty theft, forgery, or any other example of criminal fraud, the potential punishments for a conviction may be harsh. Even misdemeanor-level offenses could result in jail time and fines on top of an order to repay whatever money or property was illegally gained.
However, proving a fraud case can be difficult for a prosecutor. They must prove not only that the illicit transfer of funds or property did take place, but also that the defendant did so with the intent to defraud another person. An Oakland fraud lawyer could work with you to combat this allegation.
Attorneys work to examine the prosecution’s case for weaknesses, conduct an independent investigation, and present a defense to a jury designed to preserve the freedom of clients. Contact an attorney today to see if they could be able to help you.