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Stafford County Fraud Penalties

If you are facing penalties as a result of a fraud charge, you should learn more about plea deals, and the short and long-term consequences of fraud charges. Talk to a knowledgeable fraud lawyer today to discuss your case. An attorney can challenge the State’s arguments and evidence, and ensure you are receiving the legal counsel you deserve. Learn more about Stafford County fraud penalties below.

Common Penalties

It is important to understand that in Stafford County there are more increased risks for severe penalties than in other places. The county has an aggressive Commonwealth attorney’s office that sets every felony trial for a jury trial. This has an impact because when someone is sentenced for fraud charges, the judge must use the guidelines prepared by a probation officer and created by the Virginia Sentencing Commission. The guidelines even out sentences and give a sentence that is fair and similar to what others received under similar circumstances. On the other hand, a jury determines guilt or innocence and imposes punishment. The jury is not constrained by sentencing guidelines.

A person may be convicted of forgery and uttering and there is a total of 10 years available for sentencing and the sentencing guidelines may give the person a year or less. A jury can give all 10 years. There are more variations and less predictability in Stafford County in terms a common penalty. This puts the Commonwealth in a stronger position to ask for more jail time, more prison time, and to try to strong-arm offenders into taking pleas that are not in their best interest. This is another reason why is it important in Stafford County to involve counsel at every single phase to make sure that a person does not wind up with a worse outcome.

Plea Deal

A plea deal is offered in every case; the reality is whether a person can get a fair or favorable plea deal. That depends on how good their defenses are and how strong their attorney can make the case. The stronger the defenses and the more anxiety the prosecutor feels that they may lose their case, the more likely the person charged can receive an offer that is favorable or fair. Doing mitigation work such as education classes and community service can influence this.

Range of Penalties

There is a wide range of Stafford County fraud penalties. When someone is convicted of a felony charge fraud, they are looking at a Class 6 felony in most cases. That charge carries up to five years in prison or 12 months in jail and $2,500 fine. A person who never had a charge before could get probation or some small amount of incarceration in terms of active time. In addition, there is usually a large amount of suspended time which they do not have to serve as long as they do not commit new crimes and comply with probation. On the other hand, if a person has a lengthy history, sentencing guidelines can have a negative impact. They may be looking at significantly more time, up to and including the full five years available on each charge.

Immediate Consequences

In some ways, an awful consequence of a fraud conviction is that a person is now a felon because most of these are felonies. There are immediate Stafford County fraud penalties. That means they lose their civil rights including the right to vote, the right to hold the office, and even the right to possess or own a firearm. An immediate consequence for someone convicted of fraud is the loss of employment or difficulty finding employment in the future. In addition, a person can find themselves on probation for a significant amount of time and will often have some active jail sentence.

Long-Term Consequences

The long-term consequences of fraud include having the fraud charge on their record that makes penalties for any future offenses more serious. The more offenses someone commits, the worse things become as they move down the line. In addition, a fraud charge makes it difficult for many people to work in their chosen career or field. A fraud charge can cause the loss of professional licenses and the loss of the person’s current job. Prospective employers who run criminal background checks will probably pass on offering a job to someone based on their conviction.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are facing penalties as a result of a fraud charge in Stafford County, consult with a fraud lawyer. If you talk to a knowledgeable fraud lawyer, you can learn more about Stafford County fraud penalties.

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