If you’re here, you need to speak with an Orange County fraud lawyer as soon as possible. Being accused of fraud in California can mean several different things. Fraud occurs when a person makes false claims for monetary gain which can result from fraudulent bankruptcies, securities, identity theft, and several other criminal offenses. It is known as a “wobbler” offense. This means that defendants can be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon their case circumstance.
California Fraud Penalties
In order to prosecute fraud in Orange County, the state has the burden to prove certain points beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the case of forgery by signing someone else’s name, the state must prove that:
- The defendant signed someone else’s or a false name to a document.
- The defendant did not have the authority to sign that name
- The defendant knew he/she did not have that authority
- When the defendant committed the act, it was his/her intention to defraud.
In cases of forgery by counterfeiting or forging another person’s signature, the state must prove that:
- The accused forged or counterfeited the handwriting of another person on a document
- When the accused acted, he/she intended to defraud
Forging documents in Orange County can be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the defendant’s criminal past.
In cases where a person is accused of falsifying a will or other legal document, the state must prove that:
- The accused corrupted, altered, or falsified a document
- The document was a legal writing that the law accepts as evidence
- When the accused modified the document, he/she was intending to defraud.
In cases of health care fraud against a medical professional, the state will need to provide evidence that the defendant:
- had knowledge of a fraudulent or false claim
- committed a fraudulent act with the intention to defraud
Misdemeanor offenses are punishable by:
- Incarceration at a state prison or county jail for up to one year (CPC 473)
- Fines of up to $1,000
Felony offenses are punishable by:
- Incarceration at a state prison for 16 months to 3 years
- Fines of up to $10,000
Medical professionals who are found guilty in court can lose their license to practice medicine as well as spend time in Jail. There are several other types of fraudulent offenses for which we regularly assist defendants. Contact our fraud defense lawyers in Orange County to receive more information about your specific criminal charge for free.
Orange County Legal Assistance
If you or your loved on are facing charges for fraudulent activity, you may benefit greatly by obtaining legal counsel. A good fraud lawyer in Orange County will provide free consultations for all first time offenders. There is no obligation to retain our services and the consultation can last up to one hour.