Q: What are possible legal defenses to fraud charges?
In order to understand the possible defenses to fraud charges in Texas, you need to know what fraud is in general, and what particular type of fraud charge has been brought. In addition, fraud in Texas can be either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. And the charges can be brought on either the state or the federal level.
The penalties in fraud cases vary greatly depending upon the nature of the offense and the value of the property or amount of money involved. While you may face a fine of up to $500 for a class C misdemeanor, a first-degree felony conviction may carry a life sentence in prison. That’s why it’s important to hire a skilled Texas criminal defense attorney certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization to level the playing field and give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.
What is fraud?
While there are many different kinds of fraud charges, they all share some common elements. For example, they are white collar crimes that are non-violent and financially-motivated. Fraud offenses combine deception, concealment, and/or a violation of trust. It’s important to note that fraud is a deliberate deception of another person intended to deprive the victim of a legal right, property, or money.
The headlines are full of stories where people are reportedly duped by con men who scam them out of significant sums of money. Unfortunately, people are often quick to judge the accused before all the facts are available. Recent news reports say some elderly victims of alleged fraud in Texas have apparently been scammed by a man pretending to be a roof repairman with a legitimate roofing company.
What are the possible defenses to fraud charges?
While applicable defenses will vary depending on the particular facts of each case, some possible defenses to criminal fraud charges include:
- Failure to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Lack of intent to commit a crime/deceive the victim. This happens when the accused didn’t know the information was false or when the information wasn’t false at the time it was passed. Remember, there must be deliberate deception.
- The misleading statement does not refer to an existing fact, but rather may have been an opinion or a promise to take action in the future.
- Entrapment by law-enforcement officers coercing the accused to commit the fraud.
Hiring a former prosecutor with the experience, cutting-edge legal resources, and proven track record of success to defend you against an aggressive government prosecution is crucial.
If you or a loved one has been charged or expects to be charged with fraud, or any other crime, Benjamin Law Firm can help you. Contact us today for a consultation.
From our offices in El Paso, we defend clients throughout Texas – as well as those arrested while visiting Texas – against the full spectrum of criminal charges with aggressive legal representation. Brock Benjamin, who is board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and his associate, Leonel Nunez, are available to help you with allegations made against you by the state of Texas or the United States Federal Government.
Posted in: White Collar Crimes