Walnut Creek Fraud Lawyer
Despite its reputation as a “white-collar crime,” fraud is taken very seriously by California law enforcement authorities and can result in life-altering consequences for individuals convicted of this offense in criminal court. Even if your particular charge does not allow for sentences of decades in state prison, a guilty finding could still permanently deprive you of personal and professional opportunities.
Effectively fighting back against accusations of fraudulent behavior could be much easier with help from a capable criminal defense attorney who has handled similar situations successfully in the past. A knowledgeable Walnut Creek fraud attorney could provide the custom-tailored advice and support you might need to achieve a favorable resolution to your situation.
Examples of Criminal Fraudulent Conduct
The California Penal Code codifies several independent varieties of criminal fraud, each differentiated by the specific methodology of the alleged conduct and sometimes the specific people targeted and/or harmed by it. Some of the most common fraud offenses that seasoned attorneys in Walnut Creek have helped defend against include:
- Insurance fraud
- Medicare/Medicaid/Medi-Cal fraud
- Worker’s Compensation Fraud
- Welfare Fraud
- Credit card/check fraud
- Mail fraud
- False personation, or identity theft
- Real estate/mortgage fraud
The severity of a fraud offense generally depends on the amount of money, property, or items of value the perpetrator of that fraud allegedly illegally took from the victim. This is more or less the same way that state authorities prosecute theft offenses. In fact, many fraud offenses are literally prosecuted as theft offenses from a statutory perspective.
For example, under California Penal Code §484g, any person who knowingly obtains anything of value by using a fake, expired, or otherwise invalid credit card may face penalties commensurate with a theft offense or a grand theft offense, based on whether the total value of money or goods unlawfully obtained is less than or more than $950.
Contesting Fraud Allegations in Walnut Creek
Every form of criminal fraud that may be prosecuted in a California criminal court has a few common components. First and foremost, the defendant must have intentionally and knowingly done something fraudulent. Examples of fraud include writing a check without enough money to cover it, or lying on insurance forms. Then, that action must have directly caused someone else to sustain a financial loss or other forms of harm, and/or caused the defendant to gain some financial gain or benefit which they did not legally deserve.
Accordingly, effective defense strategies often center around disproving one or more core elements of the fraud offense in question. This can be done by showing the court that the defendant was not aware their actions were fraudulent or that they did not engage in those actions with the intention of achieving an unfair personal gain while creating a loss for someone else. A fraud lawyer in Walnut Creek could play a crucial role in building a comprehensive and effective defense for a defendant’s unique circumstances.
Consider Working with a Walnut Creek Fraud Lawyer
Fraud charges make for complex criminal proceedings and can lead to harsh penalties, even if the losses allegedly stemming from a fraudulent act are not particularly high in value. Assistance from a seasoned criminal defense fraud attorney can be absolutely essential to protecting your future prospects if you find yourself accused of this kind of crime.
A conversation with a Walnut Creek fraud attorney could help you analyze your options and pursue the best strategy for your specific situation. Call today to schedule a meeting.