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McLean Fraud Lawyer

Fraud involves deception for illegal gain by those who commit the crime. The dishonesty inherent in fraud cases can make pursuing some employment, housing, and other professional opportunities more challenging.

A McLean fraud lawyer could defend your rights and help you minimize any potential consequences if you are facing allegations such as these. Additionally, by enlisting the services of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, you may be better prepared for the criminal justice process.

What Constitutes Fraud?

Fraud is a vast category of criminal offenses that occur in various situations. Most of these crimes involve illegal activities concerning money or property. In some cases, this offense is a white-collar crime that involves professionals engaging in fraudulent activities related to their jobs.

Fraud can range from misdemeanor to felony offenses, with varying consequences. The cost of the property or services gained through the fraudulent activity often determines the severity of the charges. Some common examples of these crimes may include:

  • Bank fraud, such as writing bad checks
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Forgery
  • Money laundering and embezzlement

Accusations of fraud may include multiple charges that represent each illegal transaction and, as well as different criminal offenses, based on the situation. In some cases, an accused person may face state charges in addition to federal charges. A lawyer in McLean could advocate on behalf of those accused of fraud and work to find an acceptable resolution to the charges.

Potential Sanctions for Misdemeanor Fraud Offenses

These charges can vary widely, from low-level misdemeanor offenses up to Class 4 felonies. An accused individual may face no risk of jail time if law enforcement charges them with Class 3 or 4 misdemeanors, which carry only the potential for fines. However, even a Class 1 misdemeanor may result in up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500. Some common types of misdemeanor fraud offenses include:

  • Writing a bad check for less than $500
  • Making a false statement on a marriage record
  • Completing a fraudulent credit card application
  • Committing identity theft that results in a gain of less than $500

The threshold for a fraud charge to become a felony offense is low. Losses of more than $500 typically result in a felony rather than a misdemeanor charge. While misdemeanor convictions are not inconsequential, they have far less severe sanctions than those for felonies.

Penalties for Felony Convictions

For a Class 4 felony conviction, which is the highest charge for a fraud offense, an individual could face up to ten years in prison. Class 5 and Class 6 felony convictions also may result in many years in prison. Nonetheless, judges and juries have the option of imposing up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine in Class 5 and Class 6 felony cases.

Multiple charges may increase the maximum penalties for fraud convictions, both concerning incarceration and payment of fines. A fraud attorney in McLean may be able to negotiate a sentence that aggregates multiple counts and lessens the overall penalties in appropriate cases.

The collateral consequences of a felony conviction also can be quite harsh. A person convicted for falsifying legal information may lose various civil rights, such as the ability to possess firearms. They also may lose the ability to obtain some professional licenses, pursue some careers, and work in some industries. Therefore, it is crucial for defendants to seek the services of an experienced lawyer.

Work with a McLean Fraud Attorney

You may be entitled to various defenses to your charges under state law, depending on the facts surrounding your case. While smaller amounts of losses attributable to fraud may result only in misdemeanor charges, you still could be subject to collateral repercussions. A McLean fraud lawyer could help you avoid or minimize the potential ramifications of a conviction.

Working with legal counsel may allow you to determine which course of action is best in your case. Rather than trying to make uninformed decisions on your own, call today to legal advice.

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