Fraud charges are very serious, and it’s important to protect yourself as soon as you know you are being accused of fraud. An experienced California fraud defense attorney can help you prepare for every step of the case, from the initial accusation to the court date, if things progress to that point.
Fraud accusations can disrupt your life and cause serious financial strife, but skilled defense lawyers can be your greatest ally. Here’s why you should plan ahead by hiring a defense lawyer for your case.
Fraud is defined as an intentional deception with the end goal of personal gain, usually financial. Crucially, the deception or misinformation must be given intentionally, with the goal of depriving another person or entity of assets like cash or property. The prosecution must prove intent in order to get a guilty verdict.
Fraud always involves misrepresenting a situation in order to benefit from it at the expense of another person or company. In most cases, it provides financial gain for the person committing the crime. Unlike theft, it involves deception or misrepresentation.
This crime can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. Criminal law tends to punish fraud harshly, which is why it’s so important to secure a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Types of Fraud
There are many types of fraud, from insurance fraud to tax fraud. They all come with harsh consequences, usually including the potential for jail time and steep fines. People facing fraud charges should work with experienced attorneys who can provide useful advice right from the start.
Fraud can affect both people and businesses. These three categories describe the many forms of fraud.
Fraud Affecting Individuals
Some forms of fraud target individual people. There are many scams and fraud schemes that target people through cell phone calls, mailers, and emails. Aside from those, there are also Ponzi schemes, identity theft, and much more.
This type of fraud can be challenging for victims to identify or prosecute.
Fraud Inside an Organization
In some cases, an employee of an organization will deceive other members of the organization for their own financial gain. This type of fraud is insidious and can be hard to spot since it is an abuse of trust.
Internal fraud can affect companies of any size, from small businesses to large corporations. It ranges from misappropriating funds to altering financial statements. It’s one of the most common kinds of white-collar crimes.
Fraud Against an Organization
Some scam artists target businesses from the outside while posing as customers, service providers, or even competitors. These scams can harm an organization, especially if they continue over time.
Vendors can fail to provide the goods a business paid for, send substandard products, or bill them incorrectly. Customers may use returns to facilitate fraud and get more money back than they are owed. Competitors may sabotage or otherwise harm a business’s operations.
Insurance companies are common targets for customer fraud, which is why they are so vigilant about spotting it and prosecuting it.
What Are the Potential Consequences of Fraud?
Getting a fraud conviction can have a serious, lasting impact on your life. Beyond the effect on your reputation and employment, it can also affect your finances.
Fraud can generally be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on a few factors. This type of crime is considered a wobbler.
One of the most important factors in determining the severity of the crime is the defendant’s criminal history. If the defendant has any history of fraud crimes, that usually means a felony charge. Other criminal histories may also be taken into consideration.
Another factor is the extent of the fraud scheme and the amount of money. If the case involves a large amount of money, the court is more likely to go for a felony charge.
For misdemeanor fraud, those convicted will generally face up to one year in county jail. For felony fraud crimes, those convicted can face up to five years in prison.
There’s also a financial penalty. For both types of crimes, the defendant may have to pay up to $150,000 or double the amount that was taken fraudulently. However, in many cases, the fee will be lower than that amount.
Restitution may also be part of the penalty. This means the person convicted of fraud will have to pay back the people or companies affected by the fraud incident, including the insurance company and potentially an employer or other business.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help?
A defense attorney is an essential ally whenever you are facing fraud charges or other legal issues. Criminal attorneys at LibertyBell Law have the knowledge to protect you and get charges dropped.
Defense attorneys start by gathering information about a case. This may include finding a police report if there is one, gathering essential documents, and in some cases, even talking to the prosecutor.
Your attorney will work with you to create a legal strategy that matches your needs and desired approach. Having a legal expert argue on your behalf dramatically increases your chances of a favorable outcome.
Some common defense techniques for fraud include:
- The lack of intent to commit fraud
- A lack of sufficient evidence from the prosecutor
Your attorney will consult with you to find the right strategy for your desired outcome. You can also prepare for the trial experience to make sure you will further your own case when you speak in court.
Personalized legal advice will influence the outcome of your case, and an experienced criminal attorney will advocate passionately on your behalf.
Get the Best Legal Defense With LibertyBell Law
At LibertyBell Law, we are proud to protect our clients’ rights. We understand that the criminal justice system can be confusing, so we establish a strong attorney-client relationship to keep you updated at all times.
Contact our law office today to make your appointment for a free consultation! We can discuss your options and let you know how having legal representation will boost your case.
At A Glance
Executive Managing Attorney Gina Tennen is a renowned leading advocate of personal liberties. Her meticulous trial preparation and exceptional ability to pursue every possible defense has earned her the admiration of clients and respect from prosecutors, judges, and other criminal attorneys all over the nation.
Lawyer Tennen began her career as a Senior Law Clerk for one of the toughest District Attorney’s offices in the country where she gained remarkable experience in juvenile crimes, elder abuse, parole hearings, child abuse, sex and other serious crimes. Her experience at the District Attorney’s Office armed her knowledge and case strategy in exploiting the other side’s weaknesses for the client’s advantage and building a rock solid defense. Criminal attorney Tennen’s experience on both sides and brilliant maneuvering throughout is evidenced in her winning track record. In fact, even before earning her law degree, she was instrumental in getting excellent results on several criminal cases outshining her peers.
A consummate strategist and top criminal attorney, lawyer Tennen works tirelessly on many high profile criminal cases. She is known as a relentless fighter who never gives up on any case. Whether the case is hers or handled by another criminal defense attorney from LibertyBell Law Group, no matter how small the case may seem she asserts that every client deserves the right to the best legal representation.
It is her deep belief and what she has built her entire career and lifelong dedication to that there is always hope for every client and every avenue should be pursued regardless of the time and energy it takes. For criminal attorney, Gina Tennen, devoting the finest criminal defense for clients is a habit and talent that you must apply and do all the time.
You demand the best defense. Take hold of your life and speak to our defense attorneys by calling 855-LAW-PRO1 (855-529-7761) now.
Founder Gina Tennen and all the sex offender attorneys at LibertyBell Law Group uphold that when the bell rings, it rings for life and liberty for all.
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Gina was like a lioness protecting her cub.
I hired Gina and her team for my son who was facing 10 years for something they said he did when he was 17 years old. Gina was like a lioness protecting her cub. She did not stop. She fought hard and was able to defend the charges. We are so grateful to her and her team. They gave us our son. He recovered his life!– L. W.
Best defense lawyers in the country.
I hired this law firm in 2014 for my son who was facing 16 years in prison for a felony robbery. Lina Helou answered all our questions. I was extremely distraught regarding what my son was facing but Lina comforted me and told me that it would be okay. And thank goodness LibertyBell saved my son from going to jail and they were able to obtain only 3 years of probation. I could not have hired a better law firm for my son and if you want the best defense call LibertyBell Law Group. Thank God for this great group of lawyers.– V. J.
A great team of lawyers.
I do not have enough words to describe how incredible the experience with this firm was. They work very hard to make sure you have winning results. I could not have asked for better service from the moment I called, until my case was over. I was glad I made the right choice. Thank you again LibertyBell Law Group!– S. O.
She took her time to review all of my evidence and proved my innocence.
My father had found this group through his company and coworkers. I was assigned Gina Tennen and I cannot explain in just a review on how gratefull I am to be working with her. My case was an accusation of unlawful sex. This had looked extremely bad on my part since I was in a fraternity and she was in a sorority. During these times with Greek life, there are too many bad stigmas surrounding these organizations. Gina had believed in me and knew that I was innocent and that these accusations just were not true. She took her time to review all of my evidence and proved my innocence. I totally recommend this law group because they are willing to put in the work to help your situation.– C. D.
Gina always kept me fully aware of how the case was proceeding.
When I first heard I was under a criminal investigation, I initially thought I would try and resolve this in the best way possible, without legal representation, as we were all interested in a "just" outcome. I quickly discovered that was not the case and contacted Gina at Liberty Bell. She clearly described the expectations and the choices available to me. She was always available to me, and when I called, if she couldn't talk with me at that time, she would quickly get back to me. Gina always kept me fully aware of how the case was proceeding. Her fee's were stipulated up front, as well as what those fees covered and what they did not.– S. B.
Attorney Gina Tennen was on point from day one.
Attorney Gina Tennen was on point from day one putting pressure on the sherrif's office to get things handled. With Child molestation accusatinos being thrown around Gina and Attorney Castro were great at keeping the pressure on and had no charges filled. The DCFS indications were appealed and we won with flying colors. Great service, great work, and will use again for all legal matters.– A. B.
Will Recommend, Total Experience, Awesome Team
Being involved in legal matters can be scary. When researching who to put my trust in, I came across Liberty and I am glad that I did. From the first time that I met with Gina and her team she made me feel comfortable and listened to all that I had to say. She assured me that her team would be on it and that they would do everything that they could! A little while in, Alan took over my case. When meeting with him you can tell that this is his passion and I immediately knew he was going to do everything in his power to make the outcome right! He was relentless and worked day and night working on the case. He kept in constant communication with me and truly cared not only about me but about my family as well. I am forever grateful for the support that this whole team has given me and would definitely recommend them to anyone who is looking for truly the best lawyers!– L. B.