Washington, DC Fraud Attorney
A DC fraud lawyer from Scrofano Law PC can help defend your freedom if you are facing criminal fraud charges in the Washington, DC area.
Looking for a DC Fraud Attorney?
Fraud is a broad term that incorporates a wide range of allegations and potential consequences. The crucial thing to understand, nevertheless, is that fraud crimes are taken extremely seriously in Washington, DC.
If you are facing fraud charges in DC, having an experienced fraud lawyer on your side could make a vast difference in how your case proceeds. At Scrofano Law PC, our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience representing those who have been charged with fraud. When you entrust us with your DC fraud case, we will work tirelessly to fight for your rights, freedom, and future.
Basics of Fraud Defense
Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of the truth, either through words or conduct. Generally, the individual committing fraud benefits from their actions in some way while causing injury or damage to another individual for personal or financial gain.
The government considers many different activities to be fraud crimes. Some more common fraud charges that our firm has seen in Washington, DC include check fraud and credit card fraud. Examples of check fraud include taking another person’s checkbook and writing a check to yourself to try and take money out of their account or scanning a legitimate check to make copies and cash the copies. An example of credit card fraud is when someone uses your credit card to purchase something you didn’t authorize. Some other types of fraud include wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, and insurance fraud.
Our Criminal Fraud Lawyers Explain DC’s Fraud Laws
In the District of Columbia, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia prosecutes fraud and other theft offenses in the Superior Court. There are several types of fraud and theft offenses, and the penalty often depends on the total value of the goods or services fraudulently obtained.
DC law breaks up fraud crimes into the first and second degrees. A first-degree fraud conviction requires the government to prove three elements:
- The individual must engage in a “scheme or systematic course of conduct.” That means it must be a series of actions, not just an isolated incident or single action.
- The person must have the “intent to defraud or obtain property by means of false or fraudulent pretense, representation, or promise.” The bottom line is that the conduct must be accompanied by a mindset where the individual specifically intends to lie or trick another to obtain something of value.
- Finally, the person must succeed in either obtaining something of value or causing another to lose something. That means the fraud must be successful to complete the crime in the first degree.
Fraud in the Second and First Degree
First-degree fraud can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the specific situation. A fraud charge is a felony if the property involved in the fraud is worth more than $1,000. If convicted of felony first-degree fraud, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the property involved with the fraud is worth less than $250, the charge will be a misdemeanor. If convicted of misdemeanor first-degree fraud, you could face up to 180 days in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Fraud in the second degree is basically the same crime as first-degree fraud, minus the third element. In other words, fraud in the second degree does not need to be successful. It could be considered trying or attempting to defraud another person but not actually obtaining the goods or services or causing the person to actually lose property.
Like first-degree fraud, second-degree fraud is also split into a felony and a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. If the property involved with the fraud is worth more than $1,000, the charge will be a felony. If convicted of felony second-degree fraud, you could face up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to twice the value of the property or up to $12,500. If the property involved in the fraud is worth less than $1,000, the charge will be a misdemeanor. If convicted of misdemeanor second-degree fraud, you could face up to 180 days in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Penalties for a Federal Fraud Offense
The statutes discussed above are Washington, DC’s city statutes outlawing fraud. It is important to remember that a fraud crime can become a federal crime easily. If your fraudulent actions leave the confines of the District of Columbia, you could be charged with a federal felony on top of DC charges. As such, it’s important to hire a fraud lawyer who has experience handling both local and federal cases.
For example, if you make false and fraudulent claims to any government agency, take part or cover up a scheme in order to defraud the government, you may face five years of jail time or more if false statements are related to terrorism. Also, those who engage in a fraudulent scheme to get benefits from a government program meant to help the poor can expect severe punishment.
Government contractors can also be charged with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, or face other related charges if they used bribes to win government contracts, billed the government for the work that’s not finished, or inflated the supplies cost or costs of labor. Although companies can’t be imprisoned, their decision-makers can. On the other hand, companies convicted of fraud offenses can face severe financial consequences and fines.
Scrofano Law PC has a proven track record of success protecting the rights of people and companies accused of DC and federal fraud crimes, and we are prepared to strongly represent you at all phases of your criminal case.
Best Lawyers for Fraud Cases
With comprehensive evidence being used against you, these types of criminal offenses call for the knowledge of a trial-tested criminal defense lawyer who specializes in fraud crimes. At Scrofano Law PC, our diverse team of skilled criminal defense lawyers has decades of combined experience representing the accused in a variety of criminal cases involving fraud, and we are prepared to put our unparalleled experience to work for you in your DC fraud case.
When you work with Scrofano Law PC, your fraud lawyer will start crafting a defense strategy tailored to your case immediately and will do everything they can to defend you from your criminal charges. Our objective is to achieve the very best outcome available to you, whether that’s resolving an investigation, dropped charges, lowered charges, a not guilty verdict, or a reduction in penalties, restitution, and forfeiture.
Contact a Criminal Fraud Attorney Today
At Scrofano Law PC, we understand how frightening it can be to face fraud charges. When you come to our firm at this time of great stress and difficulty, you can rest assured that your future lies in good hands. As your DC fraud attorneys, we will work diligently to mount an aggressive and effective defense based upon the facts of your case, protect your legal rights, and ensure that your best interests are represented throughout the course of your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Why You Need a Washington DC Fraud Lawyer
Fraud cases can be extremely complicated, and if you have been charged with a Washington, DC fraud crime, the authorities will dedicate a great deal of manpower, money, and time to investigate the crime and prosecute you. Fraud is a serious criminal charge, possibly bringing life-altering penalties. Even if you are never convicted of a crime, simply being associated with a fraud claim can have disastrous legal, personal, and professional ramifications that can follow you for the rest of your life. The last thing you want to do is leave your future in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer.
If you have reason to believe you might be the target of a fraud investigation but have not yet faced criminal charges, immediately contacting a fraud lawyer is the best way to get ahead of the prosecution and improve your chance of seeing a positive resolution to your case. Sometimes, with early intervention, we have the ability to prevent official charges from ever being filed.
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