Fraud Defense Attorney
I am San Diego fraud lawyer Peter M. Liss and if you have been charged with this serious crime or any other white collar offenses, I can help you fight the charges. I have been practicing law for over 35 years and have successfully defended many people in similar situations. My law office is conveniently located just off the 78 highway across from the Vista courthouse and jail and I accept all major credit cards. Please call any time, day or night, to schedule a free initial consultation where we can discuss your case.
What is Fraud?
Fraud is a type of theft that involves the use of false claims or deception. The most common types of fraud crimes in California are those that involve insurance, welfare, mortgages, charities, worker’s compensation and embezzlement. Most of these cases are considered white collar crimes because no one is put in danger of physical harm during the process. Anyone facing such accusations should contact a Vista fraud defense attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Fraudulent Activities
There are many different kinds of fraud charges in California and they all depend on what the suspect is said to have lied about. For example, an increasingly common form of fraud is that involving fundraisers, whether for the individual’s own fraudulent needs or to raise money for a charitable group that may or may not exist. Similarly, some people lie about their disabilities in order to bring their pets with them where they would not otherwise be welcome or in order to park in handicapped spaces illegally.
It’s also common for drivers to use fraudulent vehicle registrations or to lie about their state of residency to avoid paying registration fees in California. Some people will even go so far as to purposefully get in car accidents in order to collect money from insurance companies, a subset of the more broad occurrence of insurance fraud.
Healthcare fraud is another common form, which can sometimes overlap with insurance fraud. This can take place in the form of doctors lying about services in order to get reimbursed by insurance companies or in the form of someone using someone else’s name or even a fake ID in order to get medical care, a type of identity theft. Similarly, some people commit drug crimes by scamming doctors or pharmacists in order to get access to prescriptions they would not otherwise be able to obtain, which is also a drug crime. Also, some people lie about their income in order to qualify for Medi-Cal, a type of welfare fraud.
Finally, in the most well known type of fraud is simply lying to someone else in order to swindle them out of money, this commonly involves some form of mail fraud, wire fraud, mortgage fraud or securities fraud. Illegal use of someone else’s credit card number is a similar crime. Tax fraud can also result in criminal charges, but this rarely occurs except in the most egregious cases.
Fraud Charges in California
The specific charges you will face depend on whether you are being charged in a state or federal court and what, exactly, you have been accused of doing. Mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, healthcare fraud, welfare fraud, mortgage and real estate fraud are all specific fraud-charges under the law. If there is not an actual law against the type of scheme you have been accused of performing though, you will likely instead be charged with using a fake ID, forgery, theft, embezzlement or other crime that covers the specific activities you did. Additionally, you may be charged with related crimes such as money laundering or conspiracy to commit fraud. If you didn’t technically commit the fraudulent activity yourself, but helped someone plan or execute a fraud, you could also be charged with aiding and abetting.
In some cases, you may face an individual charge for each time you broke the law. In these cases, it may be advisable to work with your fraud crimes lawyer to see if you can negotiate a plea bargain to minimize the charges you will face.
Potential Criminal Penalties
While the penalties for these crimes in California will vary depending on how the crime was committed and what the perpetrator acquired as a result, most fraud cases will involve felony charges. Anyone convicted of these charges may face time in prison or jail. If the crime involved large amounts of money, the potential prison sentence will go up drastically. No matter what else the sentence entails, making restitution to the victim is mandatory.
If you are convicted of these crimes in California, you will not only face serious penalties, but also face long-term challenges when you seek employment after your release from prison because few people trust those with fraud convictions on their record.
How a Fraud Attorney Can Help
The San Diego Police Department and District Attorney each have specialized units devoted exclusively to investigating and prosecuting white collar cases. These criminal cases may also be tried in a Federal Court and federal agencies also have special investigators to uncover fraud. All of this means that if you have been charged this crime, there is probably a lot of evidence against you.
This is why you should never attempt to speak to investigators without an attorney present. Remember that anything you say can be used against you and it is easy to incriminate yourself in these cases by trying to defend yourself. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you avoid prosecution or a prison sentence by negotiating directly with the victim of the crime. If you are under investigation for fraud or have already been accused, it is critical you hire a skilled white collar lawyer immediately.
Why Work With Me
As a top San Diego fraud defense attorney, I will always strive to achieve the best results for you given your specific situation, whether that means fighting the charges or negotiating a plea bargain. When it will help your case, I will investigate the situation, gather evidence and interview police and witnesses in order to build and present the strongest possible defense on your behalf. I will always keep you updated about your case status and advocate for you when it comes to arguing for reduced bail or making court motions that could help you. When you will face penalties, I will work to obtain the minimum possible sentence or some form alternative sentencing when available.
When you call my San Diego County law firm, you will always get an answer thanks to my 24-hour-a-day answering service and I always return calls promptly. I have built up top ratings on Yelp, Google and Avvo by always giving my clients the best possible representation at affordable rates. If you have been accused of any form of fraud, please call my North County San Diego office as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.
How to Contact Attorney Peter Liss
For skilled, IMMEDIATE help with non-violent crime defense, including fraud, embezzlement, forgery and related offenses in Vista or San Diego, call lawyer Peter M. Liss:
Call 24/7 – any time, any day. I can help you.