Arlington Fraud Lawyer
In Arlington, fraud can refer to a number of different specific crimes. The common trait they share is the concept of using deception to gain something illegally. For that reason, fraud has a very unpleasant reputation and is not a crime you want on your record, even for a comparatively minor offense.
An Arlington fraud lawyer who understands how fraud crimes are handled in local courts could devise the best defensive strategy aimed at achieving the optimum disposition of your case. Consult a seasoned attorney today and get started on your defense.
Types of Fraud Crimes in Virginia
Chapter 6 of the Virginia code defines a large variety of fraud crimes divided by categories such as forgery crimes, offenses involving electronic communications, and misrepresentations connected with sales. Within these broad categories, there are numerous individual crimes ranging from misdemeanors to serious felony offenses punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Among the fraud crimes most commonly charged in Arlington are:
- Credit card theft
- Making false statements to gain public benefits
- Identity theft
- Changing or removing trademarks
- Issuing bad checks
- Deceptive advertising
- Money laundering
Because many incidents that lead to fraud charges may involve overlapping legal provisions, it is possible to be charged with two or more fraud crimes stemming from the same incident, which increases the potential penalties substantially. Therefore, it is essential for defendants to obtain the services of an Arlington fraud lawyer.
Identity Theft Crimes
Virginia statutes list identity theft, identity fraud and similar offenses under the heading of “False Representations to Obtain Property or Credit.” The definitions distinguish between using the identifying information of another person to obtain credit, property or anything else of value, and the process of obtaining that identifying information.
If someone makes a false statement in order to receive credit or gain some property, the offense is generally treated as larceny or basic theft. The penalty is based on the value of the amount procured.
If less than $500, the act is considered petit larceny and the maximum penalty is one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. If the amount involved is $500 or more, the act is treated as grand larceny which is punishable by as much as 20 years in prison.
Identity theft, by contrast, penalizes not only the use of false information but even basic acts involved in obtaining such information. A person can commit identity theft by actions such as recording another person’s identifying information that would assist in accessing that person’s financial resources.
Identity theft is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor just like petit larceny, but only for a first offense and only the financial loss involved was less than $500. If the amount was $500 or more or the person involved had a prior conviction, the offense becomes a Class 6 felony.
Moreover, if the person committing identity theft is found to have identifying information for more than four people with the intent to distribute that information to others, the crime escalates to a Class 5 felony, and if the information of 50 or more people is involved, then the offense is treated as a class 4 felony with penalties that include up to ten years in prison.
How an Arlington Fraud Attorney Could Help
Crimes involving fraud are easier to commit than many other crimes, and sometimes people in Arlington get involved in a fraudulent situation almost without realizing it. But if that is the case, it is important to take action to protect your rights and your future.
A skilled Arlington fraud lawyer could provide guidance and advocate on your behalf at all stages of the proceedings to help you reach the best possible outcome. For a free consultation to learn how legal representation could help, contact a lawyer now.