Arlington Fraud Lawyer

An Arlington fraud lawyer can provide legal representation if you have been accused of committing fraud. Fraud is generally defined as intentional dishonesty or misrepresentations of material facts to enrich yourself and/or take from others.

There are a variety of different fraud offenses in Virginia, each with their own legal definition and specific things a prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty. A fraud lawyer in Arlington can help you to understand what a prosecutor must prove for the crime you have been accused of. Your attorney can work hard to help prevent the prosecutor from proving your guilt or meet with the prosecution to negotiate a plea bargain accompanied by less serious penalties.

Getting Help from an Arlington Fraud Lawyer

An Arlington fraud lawyer can review evidence against you, help you understand the specific offense you have been charged with, and assist you in making informed strategic decisions when responding to charges.

Having defended clients accused of similar crimes within the Arlington court system, the aggressive defense attorneys at our firm can educate you about your defense options. To learn more about how a lawyer can help, contact an Arlington lawyer with our firm today.

Fraud Offenses in Arlington

Virginia Law defines fraud offenses in Title 18.2 Chapter 6. Different criminal acts that are punishable under laws in this chapter include:

  • Forging public records (Virginia Code Section 18.2-168)
  • Keeping instruments for forging seals, or forging seals (Code Section 18.2-169)
  • Forging bank notes or coins (Code Section 18.2-170)
  • Making tools for forging writings, or possessing such tools (Code Section 18.2-171)
  • Forging certain types of writings (Code Section 18.2-172)
  • Falsifying or altering academic transcripts or diplomas, or using these types of documents (Code Section 18.2-172.1)
  • Maliciously forging someone else’s signature on a document (Code Section 18.2-172.2)
  • Having forged money (coins and notes) in your possession (Code Section 18.2-173)
  • Impersonating a law enforcement officer (Code Section 18.2 174)

As you can see, there are a number of very different actions that can result in fraud charges, which is why it’s wise to consult with an experienced Arlington fraud lawyer if you have been accused of or suspect that you are being investigated for any of the aforementioned crimes.

Each different offense has certain elements a prosecutor must prove. For example, Code Section 18.2-178 defines the offense of obtaining money or a signature using false pretenses. For a prosecutor to find you guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must prove:

  • You used false pretenses (made a material misrepresentation or lied about a past event or existing fact)
  • With intent to defraud (you made the misstatements with the intention of being dishonest and causing the other person to form an incorrect belief)
  • To obtain money, certificates, property, or someone’s signature on a writing (the property must have some value)

An Arlington fraud lawyer can try to help you introduce reasonable doubt. If a prosecutor is unable to prove even one of the elements of the crime, the jury should find you not guilty.

Penalties for Fraud in Arlington

Penalties vary depending upon the specific fraud offense an individual has been charged with. The value of the items obtained through fraudulent means is also a determinative factor in assessing fines and jail time.  For example, if a person is convicted of issuing bad checks under Code Section 18.2-181:

  • You can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor if less than $200 was involved.
  • You can be charged with a Class 6 felony if the bad checks were for $200 or more.

Virginia Code Section 18.2-10 imposes a penalty for a Class 6 felony of either a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 or between one and five years in jail, with the jury or judge given the discretion to decide which penalty to apply.   Code Section 18.2-11 imposes a penalty of up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500 for a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The same basic logic applies to other fraud charges, whereby an individual may be subject to less severe penalties if he or she is accused of taking money or services valued below a certain threshold.

Work with an Experienced Fraud Attorney

There is often a lot of room for interpretation in fraud charges, which is why you should consider working with a lawyer who understands how to protect your interests.  An Arlington fraud lawyer versed in the local court system can give you the opportunity to move past your charges and mitigate the effects on your personal and professional life.

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