Occoquan Fraud Lawyer
Fraud refers to a broad category of crimes, most of which involve some deceptive actions designed to obtain money or other personal gains. These offenses may include everything from writing bad checks to identity theft and may result in either misdemeanor or felony charges.
An Occoquan fraud lawyer may be able to assist individuals whom law enforcement authorities have accused of any fraud charges.
The repercussions of even a misdemeanor fraud conviction can be severe. In addition to incarceration, fines, and payment of restitution, a fraud conviction will appear on any criminal background checks to which you are subject, including those by prospective employers. A criminal defense attorney may be able to build an effective defense against charges of criminal fraud.
Common Types of Fraud
Fraud offenses range from passing bad personal checks to stealing credit cards and using them without authorization. Large-scale money-laundering schemes and using forged documents to obtain mortgages fraudulently, loans, or credit also constitute fraud under Virginia law. Due to the potential severity of fraud convictions, especially when they are felonies, individuals facing fraud charges may wish to seek a fraud lawyer in Occoquan for legal guidance.
Due to technological advances and the proliferation of online financial transactions, identity theft is an increasingly common occurrence. Under Virginia Code, Crimes and Offenses Generally § 18.2-186.3, identity theft is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, if the identity theft causes financial losses of $500 or more to the person whose identity individuals have stolen, the charge may increase to a Class 6 felony.
Issuing Bad Checks
Under VA Code, Crim & Off § 18.2-181, writing bad checks, or writing checks on accounts that individuals know contain insufficient funds to pay the checks, constitutes larceny. As with identity theft, writing bad checks valued at less than $500 is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and writing bad checks valued at more than $500 is a Class 6 felony.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud under VA Code, Crim & Off § 18.2-195 occurs when persons use credit cards that they know are revoked or expired or stolen credit cards to pay for items. Other types of credit card fraud include:
- Using credit cards belonging to others without their consent
- Obtaining cash advances that exceed the available credit
- Takes control of a credit card as security for a debt
Similar to the penalties for identity theft and the issuance of bad checks, credit card fraud is a Class 1 misdemeanor for aggregate fraudulent credit card transactions of no more than $500 in six months and a Class 6 felony if the total value of the transactions exceeds $500 or more in six months.
Occoquan Fraud Charges
If fraud offenses occur solely in the Commonwealth of Virginia, they typically remain state criminal charges. However, if fraudulent activity impacts a federal agency, happens on federal property, or effects individuals or businesses across state lines, accused persons could face federal charges, as well. As federal sentencing guidelines tend to be more severe than the penalties for state crimes, seeking the advice of a fraud attorney in Occoquan may be wise.
Since fraud crimes often overlap, individuals commonly will face multiple types of fraud charges in a criminal prosecution. Furthermore, accused individuals may face multiple counts of each fraud charge. For example, if individuals use stolen credit cards, they could face a separate criminal charge for each time they used the card or for each card they used.
How an Occoquan Fraud Attorney Can Help
As soon as you become aware that you are the target of an investigation for fraud or become subject to arrest on fraud charges, getting legal representation may become crucial. Failing to secure the advice that you need in this situation could result in inadvertently making a statement against your interests or incriminating yourself. An Occoquan fraud lawyer may be able to help defend you against fraud charges and protect your rights throughout your criminal proceedings.
Criminal fraud charges also make you vulnerable to civil lawsuits seeking restitution for the financial losses that fraud offenses have caused. Since you may be subject to both criminal and civil liability relating to fraud offenses, getting legal counsel may be in your best interests.