< D.C. Criminal Law

D.C. Fraud Attorneys

Fraud in Washington DC falls under the category of “white-collar crime,” which encompasses various non-violent criminal activities aimed at deceiving others for personal gain. Fraud charges can involve a wide range of acts, and individuals may face multiple counts or related charges for a single incident.

Defending against fraud charges can be complex, which is why it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced Washington DC fraud lawyer. A conviction for fraud can have significant consequences on your future prospects, affecting your professional opportunities and personal life, such as employment and property ownership. To understand more about these serious offenses and to explore defense strategies, reach out to our team of attorneys to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Fraud

The charges for fraud can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case, and it can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. For instance, if you are accused of producing counterfeit credit cards, each card could result in a separate count of credit card fraud, potentially leading to multiple charges and increased penalties upon conviction. Additionally, fraud can sometimes be a component of larger organized criminal activities, such as embezzlement or money laundering, leading to additional charges.

Fraud can be categorized as either first degree or second degree, and both levels share certain elements. These include engaging in a scheme or systematic course of conduct with the intent to defraud or obtain another person’s property through false or fraudulent means. The distinction between first and second degree lies in whether the person successfully obtained or caused the loss of property. The penalties for both degrees of fraud can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the value of the property involved.

For first degree fraud, convictions can result in fines up to $25,000 or twice the value of the illegally obtained property, whichever is greater. If the value of the property is $1,000 or more, the imprisonment term can be up to 10 years, or a combination of fines and imprisonment. If the property value is less than $1,000 but still holds some value, the maximum fine is $1,000, and the maximum imprisonment term is 180 days.

For second degree fraud, the maximum fine is $12,500 or twice the value of the property involved in the scheme, whichever is greater. If the value of the property is $1,000 or more, the imprisonment term can be up to 3 years, or a combination of fines and imprisonment. If the property value is less than $1,000 but still holds some value, the maximum fine is $1,000, and the maximum imprisonment term is 180 days.

Examples of Fraud

Fraud is a complex and diverse crime with various forms that require the expertise of a knowledgeable and professional fraud lawyer in Washington DC. Here are some common reasons why clients seek our assistance:

Check fraud: This involves knowingly using checks, drafts, or other payment methods without sufficient funds to cover the purchase, deceiving the person or entity receiving payment.

Fraudulent advertising: Business owners may face charges if they intentionally advertise false prices for goods or services, aiming to deceive others in exchange for something valuable. The severity of the fraud determines the number of counts.

Brand imitation: Those who knowingly produce goods or services that imitate existing brands, with the intention of capitalizing on the reputation of the original product, may face charges of brand fraud.

Credit card fraud: Knowingly engaging in activities such as producing, copying, disseminating, or using stolen credit card information for personal gain constitutes credit card fraud. Multiple counts can be added based on the number of credit cards involved, and additional charges like theft or conspiracy may be included.

Identity theft: This form of fraud often involves multiple counts or charges due to the complex nature of the crime. If you are accused of fraudulently using someone else’s identification information for personal gain, whether it involves a real person or a fictitious identity, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a fraud lawyer in Washington DC promptly.

By contacting a fraud lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and receive the necessary guidance throughout the legal process.

Fraud Statistics

Washington DC, much like other metropolitan areas in the country, has witnessed a significant rise in fraud cases over the years. From 2010 to 2011, there was a notable 100 percent increase in fraud-related crimes in the city. In 2010, there were 85 fraud-related arrests, involving 84 adults and 1 juvenile. However, in 2011, the number surged to 167 arrests, with 162 adults and 5 juveniles apprehended. This increase in fraud incidents could be attributed to the widespread use of the Internet and other digital platforms.

To address this growing issue, our esteemed law firm employs experienced and reputable local fraud lawyers. Our attorneys serve clients throughout the entire metro area, offering their expertise and support to those who have already faced criminal charges or individuals who have concerns about potential charges in the future. We are dedicated to assisting you in navigating the complexities of fraud cases and ensuring that your rights are protected.

Long-term Effects of a Fraud Conviction

While a white-collar offense on your criminal record might not hinder your prospects for low-level employment, it can have significant repercussions on your career advancement in business or finance. Fraud-related crimes, in particular, pose a challenge when it comes to expungement, meaning that a fraud conviction could have long-lasting consequences. However, by engaging the services of our experienced fraud lawyers in the area, you can actively combat these charges and safeguard your future. Our dedicated team will work diligently to defend your case and help protect your reputation and prospects moving forward.

Civil Suits

Apart from the penalties associated with a criminal conviction, it’s important to be aware that you may also face potential civil lawsuits. Regardless of whether you are found guilty in a criminal court, individuals or entities can still pursue legal action against you in civil court. Civil cases provide a platform for private citizens or entities to seek compensation for damages suffered. While these cases do not result in imprisonment or other criminal sanctions, they can lead to financial restitution for the affected party.

For instance, if you are charged with credit card fraud but are ultimately acquitted in criminal court, the accusers may still choose to sue you for damages in civil court. The burden of proof in civil court is typically lower compared to criminal court, making it easier for the accuser to prevail. Consequently, even if you avoid imprisonment, you may still face significant financial obligations in the form of restitution payments. By retaining the services of our assertive Washington DC fraud lawyers, you can mount a strong defense and work towards reclaiming your life and securing a positive future.