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If you were arrested or charged with fraud, help from a knowledgeable attorney is essential. A fraud conviction could lead to hefty fines and restitution, a prison sentence, and restrictions on your rights. It could also impact your housing, employment, credit, and educational opportunities.
A Citrus Park fraud lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group has the experience and expertise to challenge a prosecutor’s case and present alternative explanations. When facing criminal fraud charges, reach out to our legal professionals for the best chances of success in your case.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-2310, criminal fraud is knowingly making a false statement to gain a benefit. Criminal fraud usually occurs in a financial context. Making an untrue statement is fraud, as is intentionally failing to reveal significant, relevant information.
Fraud often accompanies other criminal charges. Situations that could lead to fraud charges include:
Almost any situation that involves making a false statement to collect money or receive a benefit could lead to criminal fraud charges in Citrus Park, as our seasoned attorneys can explain.
Fraud takes many forms, depending on the circumstances. However, the accused must knowingly make a false statement or material omission. Most fraud charges also require the intent to receive a benefit by making a false statement or omission. A Citrus Park attorney could build a fraud defense around challenging a prosecutor’s proof of knowledge or intent.
The severity of fraud charges depends on multiple factors. Prosecutors will consider the following when determining how to charge an alleged fraud:
A federal prosecutor could bring fraud charges if the scheme involved a federal program like Medicare or if the alleged victims were in different states than the defendant, as is often the case with identity theft schemes. Federal fraud charges are usually felonies but could be misdemeanors in some circumstances.
State fraud charges are felonies. Fraud could be a Class 6 felony if the benefits to the alleged perpetrator were valued at less than $2000. However, the charges could be as severe as a Class 2 felony, potentially leading to a $150,000 fine and a presumptive prison sentence of five years. When the stakes are this high, it is crucial for those accused of fraud to seek legal representation from a nearby attorney.
Sentencing for felony convictions depends on the defendant’s criminal history, the presence of mitigating or aggravating factors, and whether the crime involved a threat of physical harm to another person. Mitigating factors in a fraud case could include a defendant’s age, duress, ties to the community, military service, and other characteristics that demonstrate good character. Aggravating factors might include the victim’s vulnerability, the cruelty of the scheme, whether the offender violated the public trust, and similar factors.
If the judge finds mitigating circumstances, a person charged with Class 2 felony fraud might receive probation rather than incarceration. However, if the value of the illegally obtained benefit exceeds $100,000, a prison sentence is mandatory. If the judge finds aggravating factors, a prison sentence could be as long as 12.5 years for a first offender.
The penalties for a first-time Class 2 felony fraud conviction can range from 4.5 to 23 years in prison, with a presumptive sentence of 9.25 years. If the defendant has two or more prior felony convictions, the range increases to 10.5 to 35 years, with a presumptive sentence of 15.75 years. Those facing felony fraud charges need representation from a skilled Citrus Park lawyer to protect their freedom.
If you face fraud charges or believe authorities are investigating you for fraud, seek legal representation immediately. A seasoned attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group could protect your rights during an investigation and ensure you receive fair treatment.
With a Citrus Park fraud lawyer on your side, you are better prepared to fight for your future and defend your way of life. Call today to set up a consultation with a member of our team.