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Fredericksburg Fraud Lawyer

Fraud generally occurs when individuals take deceitful or dishonest actions toward another that are for their own personal gain. The state of Virginia has established many different offenses that qualify as fraud. The penalties for a fraud conviction can be harsh, so consulting with a Fredericksburg fraud lawyer may be in your best interest.

When individuals are charged with fraud, they often face charges involving multiple counts of one type of fraud or multiple different fraud offenses. This can make the potential penalties even more severe. Getting advice from a seasoned criminal defense attorney may allow you to develop a strong defense strategy necessary to challenge the charges against you.

Typical Types of Fraud

Fraud covers a wide range of offenses, from forgery to impersonation to embezzlement. Some of the more common fraud offenses are as follows:

  • Forging public records
  • Issuing bad checks
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card theft and forgery

Other criminal offenses that are classified as fraud include money laundering, deceptive advertising practices, fraudulent use of birth certificates, unlawful use of payment card scanning devices and re-encoders, making false statements to obtain credit, and maliciously signing the name of another person on documents.

Fraud Charges

Some fraud charges are misdemeanor offenses, which are less serious than felony offenses. Misdemeanors are categorized from Class 4, or the least serious misdemeanor offenses, to Class 1, or the most serious misdemeanor offenses.

Some examples of misdemeanor fraud offenses include impersonating a law enforcement officer, writing bad checks with a value of $500 or less, and making false statements in writing to obtain a loan or personal property.

More serious forms of fraud can result in felony charges. Felony fraud charges are categorized as Class 4, 5, or 6 felonies; no felony fraud offenses constitute Class 1, 2, or 3 felonies, which carry the most severe penalties under Virginia law. Due to the potential severity of felony fraud charges, however, talking to a Fredericksburg fraud lawyer may be advantageous in various ways.

Examples of felony fraud offenses include forging bank notes, issuing bad checks valued at more than $500, and obtaining money by false pretenses. Other fraud offenses may be classified as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances. For instance, identity theft pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-186.3 generally is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but it becomes a Class 6 felony if the identity theft causes a loss of $500 or more.

Potential Penalties for Fraud Offenses

Pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-11, a Class 1 misdemeanor fraud conviction can result in a jail sentence of not more than 12 months and a fine of not more $2,500. Penalties for a Class 2 misdemeanors are a maximum six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Convictions for Class 3 and Class 4 misdemeanors carry no potential for jail time; they simply involve the payment of a fine.

Under Va. Code § 18.2-10, however, the penalties for a felony fraud conviction are far more severe. Potential penalties for felony fraud offenses include the following:

  • Class 4 felonies may result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and a fine of not more than $100,000
  • Class 5 felonies may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to ten years, or a jail sentence not to exceed 12 months and a $2,500 fine
  • Class 6 felonies may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to five years, or a jail sentence not to exceed 12 months and a $2,500 fine

As these penalties can be very serious and impact various aspects of the personal and professional lives of individuals for years to come, getting advice from a fraud lawyer in Fredericksburg may be highly beneficial.

Let a Fredericksburg Fraud Attorney Assist

Fraud offenses, particularly when charged as felonies, can have a great impact on your future. A felony conviction may disqualify you from certain jobs and make finding any sort of employment more difficult. In this situation, a Fredericksburg fraud lawyer may be able to help you.

A Fredericksburg criminal defense attorney may be able to assist you in evaluating the strength of potential defenses, developing a clear defense strategy, and working toward a positive resolution of your case. You should never hesitate to get legal advice when you are facing any type of criminal charges.  

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