If you or someone you know and love has been charged with a fraudulent act, do not wait to contact an experienced Wildwood criminal defense attorney. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side is one of the best ways of protecting your rights when you are facing a fraud charge. Being charged with a financial crime is an enormously stressful experience, but you don’t have to go through the court system on your own. Get aggressive legal representation from the knowledgeable and experienced check fraud attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. We will protect your rights, guide you through the justice system, and fight to have your charges dropped or reduced. For a free legal consultation, call (609) 616-4956 today.
What are Fraud Charges and When can they be Filed?
Fraud is simply, a false statement or act that is made or done to gain an advantage over another person. Most cases of fraud are committed with the intent that a person gains a financial advantage over another. In order to prove a fraud charge, the prosecution needs to demonstrate that you misrepresented a fact, that you knew or should have known that you were misleading the victim, that you had the intent to defraud the victim, that the victim reasonably relied on your fraudulent statement, and the victim suffered actual damages.
Common Fraud Charges in Wildwood, NJ
There are numerous different fraud charges in New Jersey, all of which share the same foundation that is a misrepresentation made in order to reap a financial gain. Some of the most common types of fraud charges include:
- Credit Card Fraud – credit card fraud involves using a credit card or multiple other accounts to misrepresent your income in order to obtain a line of credit. Alternatively, credit card fraud can include using someone else’s card as your own or representing yourself as another in order to obtain a line of credit.
- Check fraud – In New Jersey is unlawful to give or pass a bad check or money order, when you know that the check or money order will not be honored. This means that a person writes a check with the knowledge that they do not have the money in their account to cover their purchase. The severity of the penalty depends on the value of the check. Checks for less than $200 may be charged as disorderly person offenses. For checks up to $1,000, you may be convicted of a fourth-degree crime. Passing a bad check up to $75,000 is a third-degree crime, and larger checks can result in a conviction for a second-degree crime.
- Identity theft – Identity theft is a very common fraud charge in New Jersey, wherein a person uses another’s identity to obtain a benefit or service. Identify theft charges can be brought if a person uses another’s identity to apply for or obtain a loan or to help facilitate an illegal immigration.
- Forgery – In New Jersey, it is illegal for a person to alter or forge another person’s writing without their express consent in order to defraud or injure them.
These examples are only a few of the fraud charges that a person can be accused of and potentially convicted of in New Jersey. Other fraud charges include Medicare and healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, tax fraud, and unemployment fraud.
The Penalties and Consequences of a Fraud Conviction
Because fraud is such a broad term, the penalties that are attached to fraud will vary depending on the nature of the alleged crime. However, some of the penalties may include:
- Jail time – Fraud charges can be filed as disorderly person offenses, fourth-degree crimes, third-degree crimes, or even second-degree crimes. This means that based on the value of the property involved you could face a jail sentence of anywhere between 6 months and ten years for each act of fraud.
- Large Fines – The fines associated with fraud charges can be astounding. New Jersey criminal penalties can range from fifty dollars to ten thousand dollars for each act of fraud. However, some acts of fraud such as mail fraud are considered federal crimes and may include fines of up to one million dollars.
- Other consequences – Some of the most devastating consequences of having a fraud conviction are those that are not directly given by the court, rather they are the consequences going forward. Namely, those who are convicted of fraud may face adverse credit scores, revocation of their professional licenses as well as adverse employment decisions.
If you are being charged with any form of fraud in Wildwood, having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side is crucial to protecting your rights and freedoms.
Our Experienced Wildwood Fraud Defense Attorneys Can Help
Prosecutors on both the state and federal level have been aggressively pursuing fraud charges. A conviction of fraud can result in substantial jail time, oppressive fines, and a criminal record that can haunt you for years. The best way of increasing your odds of beating a fraud charge or having the charge dismissed is to work with an experienced and aggressive team of attorneys. If you, your spouse, your parent, or your son or daughter was charged with check fraud after writing a bounced check in the Wildwood area, you need to get legal help as soon as possible. If you or a loved one was recently placed under arrest, don’t wait to seek help from an experienced defense lawyer in New Jersey. Call our law offices right away at (609) 616-4956 for a free and confidential legal consultation.