There are as many ways to commit fraud as there are laws written to prevent it in Georgia’s criminal code. While people may think of large Ponzi schemes or banking tricks when they consider fraud, the fact of the matter is that even smaller acts, such as using a stolen credit card or passing a bad check are also grouped under the category of fraud.
In order for a prosecutor to prove these charges, they must demonstrate that not only did the fraud occur, but the defendant intended to defraud another person. Cherokee County fraud lawyers understand the nuances of Georgia’s fraud laws and work to defend you in court. Seek the services of an experienced legal advocate that can fight to defend your case.
Examples of Fraud in Georgia’s Law
There is an entire chapter in Georgia’s criminal code dedicated to defining and prosecuting fraudulent activity. A simple definition of fraud is any practice that is designed to deceive another person for the purpose of monetary gain. This can be achieved in any number of ways including fraud by deceptive business practices, financial card theft, and identity fraud.
Fraud by deceptive business practices is when a person knowingly uses a false scale or measuring tool to misrepresent the quantity of an item or delivers an item that is mislabeled as to quantity or weight. A violation of this statute is a misdemeanor.
Financial Card Theft and Identity Fraud
Financial card theft, otherwise known as stealing a credit card, is when a person applies for, takes or uses another person’s credit or debit card without the card holder’s permission. This may be charged as a theft offense or a fraud offense. The fraud version is punishable by a minimum jail term of one year in addition to a fine of up to $5,000.
Identity fraud is a growing concern in Georgia and around the country. A person commits identity fraud when they willfully use another person’s identifying information for the purpose of committing a fraudulent action. A fraudulent action in this section is essentially any financial transaction. This crime is a felony under Georgia law and carries a jail term of between one and ten years and fines of up to $100,000 depending on the severity of the offense.
There are, of course, many other examples of fraud including insurance fraud, financial fraud, and healthcare fraud that are too numerous to list here. A Cherokee County fraud attorney can assist individuals, and help them fully understand the nature of the charges brought against them.
Defending Fraud Charges
Fraud charges, as with any criminal charge, must be proven by the prosecution beyond any reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must prove not only that the fraudulent act occurred, but that the defendant intended to do it.
For this reason, many cases revolve around whether the defendant possessed the proper mental state, or mens rea, to be guilty of the crime.
For example, if a person is accused of issuing a bad check, but did not realize that they had insufficient funds in their account, they may argue that they did not intend to commit fraud. On the other hand, if a person is accused of using a stolen credit card, it may be more difficult to argue that they did not know that the card was stolen.
Speaking to a Cherokee Fraud Attorney
Cherokee County fraud lawyers work with people to defend them against all kinds of fraud charges in Georgia. Attorneys understand how the laws work and what the prosecutor must be able to prove.
Whether the charges allege fraud against a government institution, a business, or a private citizen, your lawyer can be prepared to argue for your innocence in court. Many of these charges are felonies with required jail time. Contact a skilled legal advocate today and know that you are in capable hands.