Vestavia Hills Fraud Lawyer
Being accused of fraud in Alabama can be extremely stressful since it carries such strict penalties that can seriously impact a person’s freedom, employment, and reputation in their community. If you have been charged with a fraud offense, it is crucial that you begin working with an experienced Vestavia Hills fraud lawyer right away. Only a distinguished criminal attorney in the Vestavia Hills area can best advise as to what steps you should take to protect your rights throughout the legal process.
Common Types of Fraud Offenses
Fraud always involves the intent to deceive in order to wrongfully obtain something of value. There are a number of different fraud crimes, ranging in severity depending upon the type of fraud alleged, and the amount of value involved.
Some of the most common fraud offenses prosecuted in Alabama include but are not limited to:
- Check and banking fraud
- Tax fraud
- Internet fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Investment fraud
- Fraud against senior citizens
- Debt elimination schemes
- Identity theft
- Charity scams
- Medicaid and health care fraud
- Advance fee schemes
Penalties for Fraud Crimes
Penalties for fraud committed in Alabama can be harsh. Forgery in the first degree – which involves intentionally altering a written instrument, such as a financial document – is considered a Class B felony and is punishable in the state by up to twenty years in prison and $30,000 in fines. Credit card fraud may be considered a Class C felony, carrying a penalty of up to ten years in prison and as much as $15,000 in fines. Most types of computer fraud are also considered Class C felonies in Alabama.
Simply writing a bad or so-called worthless check can constitute a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail, as well as a fine of up to $6000. No matter how severe the penalty, a criminal fraud conviction can create a permanent criminal record, which can create problems when seeking loans, education, housing, or employment. This is one reason why it is so important to contact an experienced Vestavia Hills fraud lawyer right away if a person believes they may be charged with a fraud offense.
Possible Defenses Against Allegations
The defenses recognized against fraud allegations in Alabama all come down to establishing that the person accused lacked the intent to deceive anyone, since this is a central element required to show fraud occurred. A person cannot accidentally commit fraud, and therefore if a person charged with fraud believes the allegations are unfair, a skilled Vestavia Hills fraud defense attorney can investigate the details of the case and argue before the court that there was a lack of intent.
Benefit of an Attorney
Regardless of what type of fraud offense you are facing, your skilled fraud lawyer can seek to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed, depending on the details involved in your case. The sooner you consult with an experienced Vestavia Hills fraud lawyer, the sooner they can begin investigating the charges and evidence against you and determine whether there may be an applicable defense to the conduct of which you are accused.