Fraud is a large category of nonviolent criminal offenses that involve attempts to steal or otherwise acquire property or some kind of benefit through trickery and/or deceit. Fraud typically involves intentional or deliberate acts of deception motivated by financial gain. Depending on the specific offense, the punishment if you’re convicted can be anywhere from a fine to life in prison. A lot of fraud crimes are often referred to as “white collar crime” because these offenses are frequently committed by a business person or during business relations between a client and service provider, employee and employer or between family members. If you or someone you love in the Metroplex has been charged with fraud, then a lawyer could be your best chance at a positive outcome to your case.
About Fraud Crimes
There are three categories of fraud under The Texas Penal Code: forgery, credit fraud and “other deceptive practices.” This last category includes such crimes as issuing a bad check, commercial bribery, the fraudulent use or possession of identifying information (fake i.d.) and the misuse of a fraudulent, substandard or fictitious degree. Credit fraud includes credit/debit card abuse, hindering secured creditors, the fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle, and the laundering of credit card transaction records. These crimes range in severity from Class C misdemeanors to first-degree felonies.
Many fraudulent acts are criminalized by federal law, including bank fraud, tax fraud, insurance, health care fraud, mail fraud, credit card fraud, internet fraud (including online identity theft), wire fraud and fraud against the U.S. government (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Welfare, Workers’ Compensation). If you become aware that you are in any way connected to a federal fraud investigation, then contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney immediately.
Because of the current economic state, investigators are aggressive in locating and prosecuting individuals who use misrepresentation to gain financially. Law enforcement at both the state and federal level love to show the public how tough they are on con artists and high-tech thieves. In their zeal to bring charges, they may connect innocent persons to fraudulent activity. If you are suspected of fraud or have been in any way connected to a fraud case, then it can be much faster and less expensive to hire an attorney early on than to fight fraud charges later and win an acquittal. David Owens is a skilled lawyer who can guide you through the legal process, inform you of your rights and fight to defend those rights against the force of government investigators and prosecutors.
The Need for a Good Defense Lawyer
The nature of fraud crimes makes it a good idea to retain counsel early on, even if you haven’t yet been arrested for or charged with anything. As discussed above, law enforcement tends to cast a wide net in fraud investigations, and innocent people can get caught up. If you become aware of fraudulent activity and aren’t sure what to do, then contacting a criminal defense lawyer who knows the laws of fraud would be a smart move. Because fraud crimes involve deception on the part of the criminal, the authorities will be suspicious of anyone who learned of possible fraud and didn’t say or do anything about it, even if that person was completely innocent. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of your legal options and responsibilities. We may be able to prevent charges from being filed against you in the first place.
Fraudulent schemes can be simple or very complex. Sometimes business ventures or investment activities are so complicated, it may only appear that a theft scheme has been attempted. In some cases, documents are altered so it appears that the person who signed the agreement was a party to some conspiracy. Untangling such situations to expose the truth and flaws in the prosecution’s case depends upon having a knowledgeable fraud crimes lawyer protecting your interests.
Some of the laws against fraud can be very simple, and some are very complex. As a result, people may be unsure of whether a particular activity is criminal or not, and some individuals may commit fraud without even realizing it. For example, committing fraud requires intent. In that sense, you can’t “accidentally” defraud someone under the law. However, it does not matter whether or not the attempt(s) to defraud is successful or leads to financial or other types of gain or profit. While this distinction makes fraud easier to define, it also makes it more difficult to detect and to prosecute. David Owens is a former prosecutor who know the laws of fraud and can help you deal with allegations of fraud and avoid unnecessary strife.
Depending on what line of work you’re in, just the accusation of fraud can destroy your reputation and career. If people get the idea that you’re an untrustworthy person, even if you’re never charged with or convicted of anything, then your life may be ruined. Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones living in the Fort Worth/Dallas area. If you’ve been charged with fraud, then contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at The Owens Law Firm as soon as possible. We are skilled litigators who can protect your rights and provide the advice and insight you need.