Fraud Lawyer in Athens, GA
How Is Fraud Defined in Georgia?
In Georgia, fraud refers to using deceitful or dishonest means to gain something of value. The crime falls under white-collar crime since it is a nonviolent crime of deceit or concealment committed in order to gain personal or business advantage. But the federal government investigates it with a strict system.
Several independent financial crimes are classified as fraud under Georgia law, including forgery, deposit fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft. The only thing these crimes have in common, aside from severe penalties for conviction, is the use of deception for financial gain. There can be no fraud conviction without proof that one intended to defraud another.
The crime of fraud is heavily prosecuted under Georgia law. So, a seasoned Athens criminal defense attorney is crucial if you are arrested or investigated for fraud. Attorney Adam Levin has successfully defended clients in criminal cases throughout Georgia. As a trial lawyer with a successful track record, he aggressively defends his clients before judges and juries.
Contact Adam Levin Law, LLC, for a free consultation today!
Common Examples of Fraud
Fraud can occur in many situations and be very sophisticated, involving elaborate schemes and computer or internet access, and can be conducted against a company or individual to obtain money.
According to Georgia Code section 16.9.121, financial identity fraud includes using another person’s identifying information to commit fraud, such as performing financial transactions without the victim’s consent. These fraudulent transactions include getting medical services, filing taxes, or applying for credit. Victims may suffer credit damage, and restoring their good name may cost them time and money.
Credit Card Fraud
The term “credit card fraud” refers to using a payment card, such as a debit or credit card, to commit fraud. The fraud could be committed to obtain goods or services or to make a payment to another account.
An individual’s credit card information can be stolen by unauthorized users who use it for purchases, other transactions, or to open new accounts. Credit card fraud also includes account takeover, new account fraud, cloned cards, and cards-not-present.
Mail or Wire Fraud
U.S. federal laws define mail fraud and wire fraud as crimes against the public involving the use of a physical or electronic mail system to defraud others.
Securities fraud occurs when a person presents false information about companies or securities valuations to deceive investors into buying or selling securities.
It occurs when a person tries to deceive an insurance company or agent to obtain money that doesn’t belong to them or is not entitled to.
It occurs when one tries to obtain money, funds, assets, or anything owned by a financial institution or bank.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your case and determine what charges may be filed against you if you are being investigated for fraud in Athens. Get in touch with us today!
Penalties for Fraud
The penalties and sentences for fraud crimes vary according to the type of fraud and can be extremely harsh. A fraud offense may be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense. The defendant may also be subject to civil penalties if the victim brings a civil lawsuit. The best possible outcome for your case depends on understanding the different types of fraud charges and having an experienced legal attorney on your side.
Fraud is generally a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years of time in jail and a fine of up to $100,000. The penalties will vary depending on the nature of the crime, how many victims were affected if the scheme involved victims in multiple states, and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Other types of fraud are punished as follows:
Credit card fraud carries a considerable fine of not more than $5,000 and is punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years.
Identity fraud (identity theft) is a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years of time in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Mail fraud or wire fraud is a federal crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years and fines of up to $250,000.
Securities fraud is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a significant fine, depending on the value of the securities.
Fraud charges can put everything at risk, including your job, reputation, relationships, future, and freedom. In addition to jail time and heavy fines, you could lose your home, your business, and everything you have invested your life into providing for your family.
Working with an experienced white-collar crimes defense attorney could make a significant difference to the outcome of your case. Schedule a free consultation with Adam Levin Law today without needing to visit any law offices.
What Elements Must Be Proven to Obtain a Fraud Conviction?
All fraud cases, regardless of the exact nature of the crime, require proof of specific factors to obtain a conviction, including that:
- The accused misrepresented the truth
- The accused knew that the information was inaccurate when they presented it
- The accused misrepresented the information with the intent that it would be relied upon by the alleged victim
- The alleged victim suffered a loss because they believed the misinformation
When these elements have been fulfilled, a person can be convicted of fraud.
Defenses to Fraud Charges
While no one can guarantee the outcome of a criminal case, many fraud-based crimes have specific defenses that defendants can almost always use to avoid conviction, including:
Proving that you had permission or consent from the owner of the property to use it
Lack of evidence tying you to the fraudulent acts
Absence of proof that you acted intentionally or knowingly deceived the alleged victim
Why Do You Need a Fraud Lawyer in Athens, GA?
Representing yourself before the federal government is never a good idea when you have been accused of a serious crime. Often, defendants do not understand the implications of their initial plea or plea agreement in arraignment court. Due to a lack of familiarity with state and federal law regarding the crime you are accused of, you may not be aware of any viable defenses. An experienced local attorney can help you in the following ways:
Help you understand your rights and options when facing criminal charges for a fraud crime in Georgia
Your attorney may be able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss, reduce, or eliminate the charges
Your lawyer will help you negotiate a plea agreement If you cannot avoid a criminal conviction
By hiring Adam Levine Law to represent you against fraud charges in Athens, Georgia, you are getting the skills of an experienced and knowledgeable Athens fraud defense lawyer. Our team of lawyers is committed to protecting your best interests, so you can be assured of receiving the attention and representation you deserve.
Contact our law office to schedule a free initial consultation and discuss your case with a lawyer today.