As leading criminal defense attorneys in Georgia, we specialize in defending the rights of the accused. From white collar crimes to burglary and drug crimes, we handle the criminal cases that affect Georgians the most. Contact us online to set up a case evaluation today.
Not everyone who commits a crime does so intentionally. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
To a cynical mind, the idea that someone unintentionally broke the law may seem unbelievable. However, the reality is that certain crimes—especially white collar offenses like fraud—are easier to accidentally participate in than you might think.
If you’ve been charged with fraud, your future hangs in the balance. Depending on the specific details of your case, your penalties could be extreme; you may be subject to fines and imprisonment; you may be ostracized from your community, family and industry. That’s a high price for anyone to pay, especially if they’re not guilty.
At Joseph Williams Law, we understand that fraud crimes are complex, which is why we apply our full set of legal resources and expertise to defending those accused of it. When you need an advocate to explain your side of the story, our law firm is here for you.
Keep reading to learn about fraud crimes in Georgia, potential penalties for conviction and how our fraud lawyers can help defend your future.
Are you the subject of fraud allegations? It’s critical to understand that the choices you make now can have drastic consequences for your future. Don’t take any chances by hiring subpar representation. Call our law office at (912) 259-6548 to speak with a talented attorney.
What Qualifies as Fraud?
Simply put, fraud is when someone acts in a deceptive way for personal or financial gain. Victims of fraud can suffer a number of losses, depending on the exact nature of the crime.
In order to convict a person of fraud, the prosecution must demonstrate four key elements:
- The accused misrepresented the truth to deceive the alleged victim.
- The accused knew that the information they espoused was inaccurate.
- The accused assumed the incorrect information would be believed and relied upon by the alleged victims.
- The alleged victim suffered a loss as a result of believing the misinformation.
When these four elements are present, a person may be convicted of fraud. Depending on the details of their case, the number of victims, those victims’ losses and countless other factors, a person convicted of fraud may face a wide range of severe penalties.
Fraud Crimes in Georgia
In Georgia, fraud can be charged as a felony and could result in up to 10 years in prison. Although your exact penalties will depend on the specifics of your case, punishments typically correspond to the amount of harm the accused has allegedly caused to others.
Types of Fraud Offenses
Fraud is a broad term that encompasses a number of illegal actions. It is often committed in conjunction with similar crimes, such as forgery and misappropriation. The following are among the most common types of fraud crimes and financial schemes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):
- Adoption fraud
- Business and investment fraud
- Charity and disaster fraud
- Consumer fraud schemes
- Elder fraud
More specific types of fraud include credit card fraud, computer fraud, mortgage fraud, real estate fraud, mail fraud, check fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, forgery, healthcare fraud and embezzlement.
Penalties for Fraud Conviction
Although it varies from case to case, most fraud convictions result in a prison sentence and a fine, as well as other legal consequences. However, some people convicted of fraud are allowed to pay restitution to the victim in lieu of other punishments. In addition to financial losses, restitution may cover intangible damages, such as the victim’s pain and suffering.
Potential Defenses to Fraud Charges
If you’ve been accused of fraud, it’s a mistake not to retain a Georgia fraud attorney right away. The more time you have to collect evidence and build your defense, the better. Your fraud lawyer will likely want to solicit the help of industry experts, and selecting the right ones is a process that takes time.
After your fraud attorney gathers all the information they need to proceed, they’ll work with you to establish the most compelling defense strategy possible. Many fraud defense strategies include the following legal arguments:
- You had consent from the property owner to use the card, computer or personal information you’re accused of mishandling.
- You didn’t understand or know that you were committing a crime, and there’s no evidence that you committed fraud intentionally.
- There isn’t sufficient evidence to support the idea that you committed a fraud crime.
This is not a comprehensive list of possible defenses, but rather a few of the most common. Ultimately, your lawyer will suggest the best strategy to fit the specific details of your situation.
Fraud Attorney FAQs
The laws surrounding fraud and other types of white collar crimes are complex. Understanding them can be difficult without assistance from a legal expert, which is why you should seek immediate representation after you’ve been accused. Check out the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about fraud here.
• Is insider trading a form of fraud?
Insider trading is a type of white collar crime and a form of securities fraud. As a securities fraud, it is typically investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
• Are all fraud crimes in Georgia considered felonies?
Similar to theft offenses, fraud crimes may be considered misdemeanors or felonies. Although this distinction can be made based on slight differences, felony fraud results in much more serious penalties than misdemeanor fraud.
• What is Medicare fraud?
Medicare fraud involves claiming reimbursements for Medicare health care to which the defendant is not entitled. Although there are many different types of Medicare fraud and it can be committed by a variety of parties, the common goal of these crimes is to collect money from a federal program illegitimately.
Joseph Williams Law: White Collar Defense Lawyers Specializing in Fraud Crimes
If you’ve been falsely charged with fraud, you may think you can talk your way out of it, but you can’t. Don’t make the mistake of commenting on your alleged crimes before speaking with a fraud attorney; even straightforward explanations can be twisted and used against you in court.
Your best strategy for beating a fraud charge is partnering with a trusted white collar defense lawyer who specializes in fraud cases like yours. Luckily, you don’t have to look too far: The talented attorneys at Joseph Williams Law are here to ensure your side of the story is told.
Ready to protect your future? We can help fight your fraud charges. Getting started is as simple as contacting us online or giving us a call at (912) 259-6548 to schedule a case evaluation.
how can we help you?
Are you in need of a qualified lawyer in South Georgia? Williams Law is here to help with unmatched knowledge of the law and a personal approach with your best interests at its center.
We offer free consultations: let us know the details about your case in the box below, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.