Anne Arundel Fraud Lawyer
There are many offenses that could fall under the broad category of criminal fraud in Maryland. Depending on the specific offense and the severity of the case, fraud charges could be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony.
The value of the goods or services involved in fraudulent activity could determine whether the prosecutor brings a felony or misdemeanor charge, which both carry severe consequences.
If you have been accused of criminal fraud, contact an Anne Arundel fraud lawyer immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help you understand the charges and protect your interests throughout the legal process.
Elements of a Fraud Offense
Fraud is defined as the intent to deceive an individual or entity to illegally gain goods, services, or some other property. Title 8 of the Maryland Criminal Code governs the different types of fraud in Maryland, including credit card fraud, check fraud, identity fraud, and counterfeiting.
Regardless of the specific type of fraud you have been charged with, the prosecutor must prove all of the elements of fraud in order to be successful, which are:
- False statement of fact
- Knowledge of truth
- Intent to deceive
- Reliance on a false statement and damages
False Statement of Fact
A person must have deliberately made a statement of material fact that was false. A person who states their belief or opinion about something cannot be charged with fraud. The false statement must be about something factual, and it must be significant to the situation to be considered fraud.
Knowledge of Truth
The individual who made the false statement of fact must also be aware that their statement is untrue. If a person genuinely believes an incorrect fact, they generally cannot be guilty of fraud. The exception to this rule is if a person has a responsibility to know the facts but fails to do so and relays false information.
Intent to Deceive
A person accused of fraud must be proved to have the intent to deceive another person or entity. The deception must be deliberate and conscious of the purpose of illegally gaining a good, service, or some other type of property. If the person lacks the intent to deceive, it cannot constitute fraud.
Reliance on a False Statement and Damages
The prosecutor must show that the person who was deceived also relied on the false statement of fact. If the person did not take any action based upon the false information but instead just kept it in their head, the prosecutor may have a hard time proving the victim suffered damages.
What are the Penalties for Fraud Charges in Anne Arundel?
The penalties for fraud crimes in Anne Arundel can be significant, but their severity will ultimately depend on the type of offense and the value of the money or property that was stolen by the defendant. Some fraud crimes, such as credit card fraud, are classified as misdemeanors, and are therefore punishable by an a18-month jail sentence and a fine that should not exceed $500.
Other fraud offenses are considered felonies in Anne Arundel and can incur much more severe penalties. One example is identity fraud, which occurs when an individual takes the identity of another person with the intention of using their private information for their personal financial gain. This crime can result in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Anyone accused of a fraud offense in Anne Arundel should be aware of the associated penalties, and they should work with an experienced attorney in order to avoid them.
Speak with an Anne Arundel Fraud Lawyer
If you have been charged with fraud in Anne Arundel, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer specializing in fraud today. Fraud convictions have serious consequences and having an attorney represent you could make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor or felony, a qualified fraud lawyer could fight to reduce the charges against you and protect your rights throughout the legal process.