There are many different types of criminal fraud charges, ranging from credit card fraud to securities fraud. In some cases, fraud involves small amounts of money. In other cases, fraud involves million-dollar schemes. The amount of money stolen in a fraud case is important because it will influence the defendant’s penalties for a fraud conviction. Depending on the type of Fraud and the value of the stolen property, prosecutors can charge fraud as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Have You Been Charged With Fraud in Texas? We Can Help
Not everybody who is charged with fraud and Texas is guilty. If you have been arrested for criminal fraud in Texas, it is essential that you discuss your case with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. You could be facing significant fines and jail time, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can begin investigating your case as quickly as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Steven Jumes today to schedule your initial consultation and begin fighting your criminal charges.
Types of Criminal Fraud Charges in Texas
There are over 20 different types of fraud charges in Texas. While the individual elements are different for each type of fraud, all fraud charges involve someone getting money or property by using some form of trickery. The trickery could involve using someone else’s credit cards or checks without their permission, using forged documents, or lying on a credit card application.
In Texas, a defendant can be charged with fraud even if they have not used the credit card, check, or personal information of another. Merely possessing these items can be the basis for a criminal charge. Some of the most commonly prosecuted fraud charges in Texas include the following:
- Insurance Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Check Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Computer Fraud
- Medicaid Fraud
- Unemployment Fraud
- Welfare Fraud
- Workers’ Comp Fraud
- Tax Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
Forgery is typically a Class A misdemeanor when it is done to harm or defraud another person. Forgery involves altering or making writing appear to be:
- Authorized by another person
- Executed at a different time or place, or
- A copy of an original where there is no original
Prosecutors can bring felony forgery charges when the fraudulent writing is purported to be:
- A deed
- A will
- A mortgage
- A security instrument
- A credit card, or
- A check
Check fraud is not as common as it once was because more people use debit cards and credit cards, but it still happens. In most cases, check fraud involves one person taking another person’s blank check, filling it out, and fraudulently signing the owner’s name without his or her permission. Check fraud also includes issuing a check knowing you do not have full payment or sufficient funds.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud involves someone intending to obtain a fraudulent benefit and:
- Using a credit card knowing it is issued in someone else’s name
- Using a credit card knowing it has been canceled
- Stealing are using a stolen credit card
- Stealing another person’s credit card
- Buying a credit card from someone other than the cardholder, or
- Possessing two or more blank credit cards
Identity fraud, also known as identity theft, involves obtaining, possessing, or using another person’s personal identification information with the intent to commit fraud. Personal identification information includes their date, social security number, name, or any other identification type. Identity fraud can involve using the name of a deceased person, a child under 18, or a person who was stillborn. The prosecution does not need to prove that the defendant intended to commit fraud if they have the personal information of three or more people.
Insurance fraud can involve medical insurance, car insurance, or property insurance. The crime of insurance fraud involves a policyholder trying to defraud the insurance company. We have seen recent cases in which doctors or an entire medical staff tried to commit fraud by wrongfully billing an insurance company or Medicaid/Medicare for services they never provided to their patients. The penalties for insurance fraud depend on the total value of the fraud. The defendant may also face civil penalties through a lawsuit and be required to pay restitution, court costs, and attorney’s fees to the affected insurer.
Defendants can be convicted of insurance fraud and be required to serve jail time and pay fines. The defendant may also face civil penalties through a lawsuit and be required to pay restitution, court costs, and attorney’s fees to the affected insurer.
Avoiding Jail Time for Fraud Charges in Texas
Most fraud-related charges are misdemeanors or state felonies. If this is your first criminal offense charged and the case does not involve a large sum of money, there is a good chance your lawyer can help you obtain community service so you can avoid jail time. However, a misdemeanor criminal conviction can still affect your future, preventing you from getting specific jobs in the financial or retail field or any other profession where you can access other people’s personal information or money.
At the Law Offices of Steven Jumes, our experienced criminal defense lawyers will help you fight these fraud charges and any related criminal charges you are facing. The state of Texas must prove that you were the person who signed the receipts, applied for credit, forge the checks, or made purchases online. When they do not have enough evidence to prove that you had the intent to commit fraud beyond a reasonable doubt, they cannot convict you.
Consult With an Experienced Texas Fraud Lawyer Today
The sooner you discuss your case with an experienced Texas fraud lawyer, the more time your legal team will have to investigate and prepare your legal defense. Depending on your case, we may be able to argue that you did not knowingly attempt to commit fraud, that the witness mistook you for the person committing the fraud, or that the prosecution does not have enough evidence. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you protect your freedom and future.