The term “fraud” carries a lot of legal weight. It implies wrongdoing and can attach to different forms of allegedly illegal conduct. When a California resident is charged with fraud, they may be uncertain of what legal options they have to protect themselves.
Fraud can be alleged in many different contexts, but this post will introduce readers to fraud as a general concept. No part of this post represents legal advice. When an individual is charged with a fraud-based crime, it is in their interests to seek the counsel and representation of a dedicated criminal defense attorney.
What is fraud?
Fraud happens when a person uses deceit to trick someone else out of money. Fraud can be based on alleged lies, misrepresentations, and other forms of dishonesty. Fraud can happen in the creation and execution of contracts, in wire transfers and banking, and even during bankruptcy proceedings. Any kind of fraud is serious and should be managed with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer.
What elements are involved in a criminal charge of fraud?
Like other crimes, allegations of fraud involve specific intentions and actions to cause harm to occur. For example, to be charged with fraud a person must know and intend to be deceitful in their interactions with another person. Their deceit must entice the other to act to their detriment, and the deceit of the charged party must cause the other to suffer losses. Different types of fraud will have different specific elements.
Fraud is a white collar crime that carries with it serious consequence including time in jail and significant financial penalties. However, charges of fraud can often be met with successful defenses that can mitigate and end criminal claims. Though no outcome can be guaranteed when criminal charges are pending, fraud defendants can exercise their rights and work to overcome their legal hurdles to better their futures.