Fraud comes in many shapes and sizes including consumer fraud, internet scams, bank fraud, and much more. Penalties for civil and criminal fraud in Georgia can be severe and include serving time in prison, paying fines, and having a criminal record.
If you have been charged with a Georgia fraud crime, contact an experienced Cobb County fraud lawyer to discuss the charges against you, determine what legal defenses may apply to your situation, and evaluate the best course of action for you. Having a qualified attorney by your side can protect your freedoms.
Actual, Constructive, Civil, and Criminal Fraud Offenses
According to GA Code Sec. 51-6-2, et. seq., Georgia recognizes the crime of “actual fraud” which consists of:
- A false representation
- A knowledge that the representation is false or with reckless disregard as to whether it was true
- An intent to induce someone to act or refrain from acting based on the knowingly false representation
- Reasonable reliance by that person on the knowingly false representation
- Damage was done to that person because the accused reasonably relied on those false representations
Actual fraud is essentially a crime of deceit. However, Georgia also recognizes “constructive fraud” which is based less on deceit and more with omitting or concealing information which harms another. In addition, fraud charges can be civil or criminal. While someone must have suffered damages to prevail in a civil fraud lawsuit, that is not true in a criminal fraud case. Some of the most common examples of criminal fraud include:
- Bank fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Identity theft
- Mail fraud
- Securities fraud
- Tax evasion
- Wire fraud
What are the Penalties for a Fraud Conviction?
Penalties for all fraud crimes vary greatly depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation and can be classified as misdemeanors (generally those with prison sentences of up to one year) or felonies (generally those with prison sentences of over one year), but most Georgia fraud crimes can result in spending time in prison, paying fines, being subjected to long periods of probation, and – most importantly – having a criminal record. For more on penalties or what fraud consists of, talk to a Cobb County fraud lawyer.
Possible Defenses Against Fraud Charges
Regardless of what type of fraud is being alleged, it is important to remember that there may be numerous legal defenses available to the person being accused of the crime. In most cases, proving that someone intended a crime or had the requisite knowledge of the crime can be challenged as those are very subjective issues. That is where an experienced Cobb County fraud lawyer can be of the most help as they can evaluate the situation and determine whether the charges can be dismissed or mitigated through a plea bargain. For many first-time offenders, that may be a very real possibility. While every situation is unique, it makes sense to find out more by contacting experienced Georgia criminal defense counsel.
How a Cobb County Fraud Attorney Can Help
If you have been charged with a Georgia fraud crime, contact an experienced Cobb County fraud lawyer to discuss the charges against you and evaluate which legal defenses may be available to you so that you can make an informed decision as to what is best for you. Your future is important. Do not try to fight Georgia fraud charges on your own. Find out how an experienced Cobb County fraud lawyer can help you fight for your rights.