Being prosecuted for a fraud crime in Florida means that your reputation, freedom, and career are all on the line. When the stakes are this high, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who has a successful track record of defending clients against fraud charges.
An experienced Boynton Beach fraud lawyer could fully commit to protecting your future and obtaining a favorable resolution to your case.
What Offenses are Considered as Acts of Fraud?
Fraud is an umbrella term that includes a number of different offenses under federal and state law. Fraud can be committed against another person, private business, or governmental entity. In Florida, fraud offenses typically involve intentional deception or misrepresentation in order to gain something of value. The three primary categories of fraud crimes in Florida are fraudulent practices, forgery, and worthless checks.
Fraudulent practices are defined in Chapter 817 of the Florida Statutes and include more than 50 separate offenses. Some examples of those are:
- Scheme to defraud – Section 817.034 (also known as Florida Communications Fraud Act)
- Obtaining property by false personation – Section 817.02
- Mortgage fraud – Section 817.545
- Criminal use of personal identification information – Section 817.568
- Fraudulent use of credit cards – Section 817.61
- False and fraudulent insurance claims – Section 817.234
Severity of the Offense
These and other fraudulent activities range in severity from misdemeanor to felony offenses. One of the most serious fraud offenses a person can be charged with under Chapter 817 is a scheme to defraud.
Florida divides scheme to defraud charges into organized fraud or communications fraud, both of which carry serious penalties. A scheme to defraud means a systematic and continuing course of conduct with intent to defraud another or obtain property from another by false pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act. A Boynton Beach fraud lawyer could defend an individual, regardless of the offense.
Chapter 831 of the Florida Statutes addresses crimes involving forgery and counterfeiting. Those include, but are not limited to:
- Uttering forged documents
- Counterfeiting private labels, bills, or coins
To convict someone of forgery, the state must prove that the person falsely made, altered, forged, or counterfeited a document listed Section 831.01 with intent to injure or defraud a person or other entity. Forgery is a third-degree felony.
Which Fraud Offenses Includes Checks?
Under Chapter 832 of the Florida Statutes, there are several types of offenses involves checks and drafts. The two most commonly charged offenses are for issuing worthless checks and obtaining property by worthless checks.
An essential element of both offenses is that the accused knew when they wrote, uttered, issued, or delivered the check that there was insufficient money in the bank to cover the payment. In addition, the offense of obtaining property by worthless check requires that something of value be received in exchange for the check.
These two offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the amount of the check. A check for an amount less than $150 is a misdemeanor offense whereas a check for $150 or more is a felony.
Contacting a Boynton Beach Fraud Attorney
A legal team has the knowledge and resources necessary to provide criminal defense representation for those charged with fraud and other white collar crimes. Speak with a Boynton Beach fraud lawyer about the specifics of your case. Your attorney and you can look at your case, and decide what defense options may work best for you.