Virginia Fraud Penalties

The term fraud in Virginia covers a wide array of different types of activity. There can be identity fraud, credit card fraud, check fraud, and forgery. There are too many different kinds of fraud that exist under Virginia law to cover all of the possible penalties. The most severe fraud-based crimes can be punished by up to 20 years in prison. Some of the more benign felony fraud charges can be punished by up to five years in prison. There are no fraud charges that do not result in jail time if the person is convicted. For that reason, it should be taken very seriously with the help of a Virginia fraud lawyer.

Immediate Consequences

Fraud convictions are taken seriously by lots of people, not just the government. If a person has any kind of employment that requires a background check or a security clearance, a fraud conviction, which is considered a crime of moral turpitude, will greatly endanger any background check or security clearance that he or she might have in the immediate future.

Long-term consequences of a fraud conviction are similar. A person will have on his or her criminal history for the rest of his or her life an entry that says he or she committed an act that involved lying or cheating to make a financial gain for him or herself. Any kind of potential employer or potential security clearance will be greatly jeopardized in the near and distant future by any conviction for fraud.

Likelihood of a Plea Deal

A plea deal is always a gray area in cases like these because it depends upon a number of factors that are difficult to predict in the abstract. The most important factor might be the litigation risk that is perceived by the government, meaning how likely is it that they will get a conviction if they go forward with the charges.

It is likely they will get a conviction if they go forward with the charges, so generally, they are less incentivized to cut any kind of a deal because they know they could convict that person without too much effort or too much risk. There are other factors, even in cases where the government has the defendant. Those variables almost always include a person’s previous criminal history and any good deeds that he or she might have done.

There are a lot of variables that go into what makes a plea deal work, but generally, if a person has no prior criminal history and has done some good things leading up to the moment where he or she was charged and has been able to make restitution to the victim of the fraud, if they committed the fraud, a plea deal is a likely result.

Generally, fraud cases are considered not so much by the type of fraud, but by the severity of the fraud, whether it is a check fraud case, an identity fraud case, or a credit card fraud case. If the amount of the loss is significant to the victim, a plea deal is considerably less likely and that is especially true if the defendant in the case is able to make speedy restitution to the victim.