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Fraud crimes are typically non-violent offenses—or white-collar crimes—that involve some element of deception or misrepresentation for personal financial gain. There are many varieties of fraud under state and federal law, so the penalties for fraud crimes range in severity from low-level misdemeanors to felonies with potentially harsh consequences.

A Trussville fraud lawyer could work on your behalf to defend you against such accusations and help clear your name. No matter which level of fraud crimes you are facing, an intelligent criminal defense attorney could evaluate your situation and help you decide upon an effective defense strategy.

Common Types of Fraud in Trussville

In many cases, individuals often commit fraud offenses in the context of their employment. The alleged crime could occur within an office, financial, medical, or corporate setting. Depending on the type of fraud involved and the circumstances of the crime, fraud offenses can result in state or federal charges.

While various fraud offenses differ significantly in their nature and scope, they all share some common characteristics. Elements that are typically present in all fraud offenses include:

  • Misrepresentation of a material fact by one party to another
  • The targets of the fraud reasonably relied on the deception to provide something of benefit to the party committing the fraud
  • The individual(s) committing the fraud did so intentionally with the purpose of defrauding others

A few common examples of fraud under state law include forgery, mortgage fraud, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, and identity theft. As the potential ramifications of a criminal conviction for any type of fraud may be severe, accused individuals may wish to consult a fraud lawyer in Trussville for legal advice and guidance.

Potential Penalties for Trussville Fraud Offenses

Certain fraud offenses are felonies with potentially harsh consequences. As an example, first-degree forgery—as stated by Alabama Code §13A-9-2—involves intentionally creating a false document or altering a document that is part of an issue of stamps, securities, or other valuable instruments issued by a government agency.

False Documents

The falsified or altered document could also be for stock or bonds representing claims against or interests in a business or business property. This offense is a Class B felony under Alabama law and could result in a prison sentence that ranges from a minimum of two years to a maximum of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $30,000. Individuals facing a fraud conviction should speak with an accomplished attorney when facing such penalties.

Writing Bad Checks

Conversely, negotiating a worthless negotiable instrument or writing bad checks is an example of a misdemeanor fraud offense under Ala. Code §13A-9-13.1. This offense occurs when individuals write checks to pay for items of value while having the knowledge or expectation that there will be insufficient funds in the account on which the checks will be drawn. Writing bad checks is a Class A misdemeanor offense and may result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $6,000.

While fraud offenses may include both misdemeanor and felony charges, any fraud conviction constitutes a crime of dishonesty on a person’s permanent criminal record. As such, a fraud conviction can have collateral consequences that go far beyond the penalties received as punishment through the criminal justice system. As a Trussville lawyer could explain, a fraud conviction could result in difficulties securing employment, furthering education, or obtaining professional licensure.

Contact a Trussville Fraud Attorney for Legal Representation

Given the complexity of many criminal fraud cases, you may wish to get legal advice immediately after realizing that you have become the target of a fraud investigation. This might be the most effective way for you to learn about your rights and options in handling the accusations against you.

A Trussville fraud lawyer could thoroughly investigate the evidence against you and work toward a positive outcome in your case. Since you could face severe repercussions from a fraud conviction, it is advised that you consult with legal counsel as early as possible.