Fraud encompasses a broad range of crimes, all of which involve deceptive or dishonest tactics to achieve personal financial gain. Virginia law provides for various types of fraud, including both misdemeanor and felony offenses.
Since the potential penalties for many fraud offenses may be harsh, you may wish to consult a Manassas fraud lawyer for legal guidance and assistance. Defenses often are relevant in many fraud prosecutions, but you may be unaware of these defenses and your rights unless you seek the help of an experienced attorney. A fraud conviction can impact all areas of your life, both personally and professionally. Having legal counsel may enable you to minimize the impact of fraud charges on your future.
Fraud is a criminal offense that can occur in many different contexts. Many fraud offenses involve financial affairs, and some implicate the career or work responsibilities of professionals. As a result, many individuals consider fraud to be a white-collar crime.
Offenses involving fraud may be misdemeanors or felony offenses, depending on the circumstances that led to the crime and the value of the financial gain to the accused individuals. Some of the more common types of fraud include:
In many cases, fraud charges may involve either multiple charges related to the same unlawful behaviors, or different types of fraud, depending on the situation. No matter the severity or number of the charges that individuals are facing, a fraud lawyer in Manassas may be able to help.
Virginia prosecutes many fraud offenses under state law, but federal law prohibits various types of fraud, as well. Fraud activities that involve federal funds, property, individual banking institutions, federally-backed mortgages, and federal healthcare programs all may result in federal criminal charges. On the whole, the potential penalties for fraud offenses tend to be more severe than those under state law.
Charges for fraud offenses under Virginia law range from Class 4 misdemeanors to Class 4 felonies. As a result, the maximum prison sentence that individuals may face for a single charge of fraud is ten years. Nonetheless, individuals could face multiple charges for fraud and other criminal offenses, so they could end up serving more than ten years in prison in some cases.
The highest possible misdemeanor offense under Va. Code § 18.2-11, or a Class 1 misdemeanor, carries the potential for a maximum jail sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $2,500. Lower-level misdemeanors, or Class 3 and 4 misdemeanors will result only in small fines and no possibility of jail time. Some common examples of misdemeanor fraud include issuing a bad check for less than $500 and submitting a fraudulent credit card application.
Felony fraud offenses range from Class 6 felonies, which are the least severe felony fraud offenses, to Class 4 felonies, or the most severe felony fraud offenses. In sentencing individuals for Class 5 or 6 felony fraud offenses, judges have the option of imposing what amounts to a misdemeanor sentence, or a maximum 12-month jail sentence and a $2,500 fine, or lengthier terms of incarceration.
A fraud attorney in Manassas may be able to negotiate with attorneys for the Commonwealth to achieve reduced charges or penalties, depending on the circumstances.
The earlier that you contact legal counsel, the more effective of a defense you may be able to develop. You may have a better chance of avoiding significant harm to your reputation and protecting your assets.
With the help of a Manassas fraud lawyer, you may be able to avoid criminal charges before they even occur or fight back against fraud charges in the courtroom.
Fraud crimes are complex and may put you in a worse position if you attempt to defend yourself on your own. Allowing legal counsel to handle any criminal proceedings on your behalf may relieve some of your concerns and will enable you to focus on rebuilding your future.
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