Frederick Fraud Lawyer
Depending on the circumstances, fraud can be either a misdemeanor or a felony offense and may encompass identity theft, passing bad checks, or abusing government programs such as unemployment insurance or food stamps. Even a misdemeanor fraud conviction can have serious implications, including extensive fines, restitution payments, and even jail time.
You may wish to seek help from a Frederick fraud lawyer if you are facing fraud charges in state court. By hiring a seasoned criminal defense attorney, you may be able to avoid many of the pitfalls of fighting criminal charges on your own. A seasoned criminal defense attorney may help protect you against unfair charges.
Fraud Laws Applicable to Frederick
Maryland state law criminalizes many acts characterized by the use of deception for the purpose of financial or personal gain. Regardless of the specific nature of the offense, an experienced Frederick fraud attorney could help.
Writing Bad Checks
Writing a check can be a criminal act in Maryland under various circumstances, such as if the signatory knows their check is backed by insufficient funds, or if they intend when writing a check to stop payment after receiving property or services. Check fraud can also include signing a check without authorization, writing checks on a closed account, or illegally printing checks.
Fraud Relating to Credit Cards
Credit card fraud typically entails making unauthorized purchases using a stolen credit card or somebody else’s personal information. Another type of credit card fraud involves applying for a credit card using forged or stolen documents containing stolen confidential personal information.
Counterfeiting is the production of fake materials and presenting them as genuine for financial gain. State law criminalizes the counterfeiting of checks, deeds, titles to motor vehicles, wills, public seals, medical prescriptions, and many other official documents.
Fraud Against Vulnerable Adults
Maryland, like many other states, has laws designed to protect the elderly, who may be especially vulnerable to financial crimes and fraudulent conduct. It is generally illegal to deceive, intimate, or unduly influence a vulnerable adult to deprive that person of personal property.
Penalties for Fraud
The two main factors determining the severity of punishment for fraud charges are the type of fraud committed and the value of goods and/or services stolen. For example, Maryland Code, Criminal Law §8-106 states that obtaining property or services valued at over $500 by issuing a bad check is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Illegally obtaining property or services of lesser value is punished less severely and may be a misdemeanor.
Likewise, a conviction for identify fraud under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §8-301 can lead to imprisonment and steep fines depending on the amount stolen and how it was stolen. Under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §8-801, receiving the elderly or other vulnerable populations for financial gain can result in incarceration, large fines, and the restitution of money and property.
Contact a Frederick Fraud Attorney Today to Learn More
Contact a Frederick fraud lawyer today for help in defending you against criminal allegations of fraudulent behavior. You deserve quality legal representation from a knowledgeable attorney who could help you in your time of need.