Fraud is a category of white-collar crime that involves obtaining money or something of value (usually property) through deception. There are many different types in Virginia, including:
- Credit card forgery and credit card fraud (often accompanied by credit card larceny)
- Embezzlement—this is a form of larceny. It means that someone steals property or money after initially taking possession of it lawfully. This could be something sophisticated like an accountant diverting funds from corporate accounts or something as simple as a cashier stealing money from a cash register while working.
- Obtaining money or signature by false pretense—this is sometimes called “larceny by trick.”
- Forgery and uttering (two separate offenses that the police often charge together)
- Falsifying documents including school transcripts
- Lying to obtain property or credit
- Illegal recordings
- Issuing bad checks
- Forgery of a public record
- Identity theft
- Identity fraud
The police often charge the accused with multiple charges or multiple counts of the same charge. The charges range from misdemeanors to serious felonies that could result in years or decades in prison if convicted.
The defenses for each depend on the specific statute as well as general defenses such as protection of your constitutional rights, challenging the admissibility of evidence, your right to a speedy trial, and more.
White-collar charges require an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer. The evidence is complex. Experienced attorneys can win trials just by preventing the prosecutor from using incriminating evidence.
Defenses to fraud charges
The federal and state constitutional defenses apply in these cases, including the right to be free from illegal search and seizure and from self-incrimination.
Fraud offenses require more than just a basic understanding of the criminal process. Often, an examination of the documents, audio records, visual evidence, and other transactions shows that the charges don’t apply to the case or should be reduced. In other cases, there may be a way to prevent the prosecutor from using incriminating evidence against the accused at trial.
I may be able to convince the prosecutor or the judge that:
- Some of the evidence necessary to prove the offense is inadmissible
- The evidence does not properly identify my client
- My client had no criminal intent
- There was no deception
- Witness testimony is unreliable/unconvincing
- The evidence wasn’t properly preserved
- The police committed procedural errors or violated my client’s rights during the investigation
- The police have charged multiple accounts when there is only one offense
- There is insufficient evidence of value to prove a felony
Time is critical in fraud cases. The sooner you consult with me, the more options may be available to help you. I will review whether the evidence is admissible, whether your rights have been violated, and what other defenses you may have. I have experience from handling thousands of cases that I can use to help you. For immediate help, please phone me at (804) 212-2319 or contact me by filling out my contact form.