Fraud Attorney in Miami, FL
At The Edelstein Firm, we understand the serious consequences that can result from arrests and convictions for fraud offenses. A fraud-related conviction can negatively impact every aspect of your life, from your reputation and career to your family life and personal relationships. That is why it is so important that you choose a Miami fraud crimes attorney with the necessary skill and experience to help you avoid these potential life-long negative consequences.
Types of Fraud Crimes
Because they usually involve the unlawful taking of property, fraud offenses are closely related to theft crimes. A fraud offense, however, typically involves dishonesty and deception for the purpose of gaining a benefit. Fraud crimes can be prosecuted in both State and Federal courts. Defendants facing prosecutions in state court for fraudulent schemes are usually charged under the organized fraud statute, while federal fraud prosecutions can be charged under a number of different fraud statutes including wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud. There are also both federal and state fraud statutes that are specific to certain types of fraud offenses. In federal court, for example, a person can be charged with marriage fraud or healthcare fraud. Some examples in state court are insurance fraud, credit card fraud and mortgage fraud. A victim of fraud crime can also bring a civil lawsuit for monetary damages against the person or entity that allegedly defrauded them. Unlike civil fraud, however, criminal fraud can result in a criminal conviction, incarceration, and fines. Some fraud cases begin as criminal cases and later become the basis for a civil fraud suit.
Although crimes of fraud do not involve violence, prosecutors vigorously prosecute them because of the societal and financial damage they can cause. Fraud offenses undermine trust and eat away at the very fabric of society. It makes people reluctant to engage in both personal and business transactions which can have a devastating effect on our economy. Aggressive prosecution of fraud crimes serves as a deterrent to those willing to deceive for personal gain.
Both the State of Florida and the federal government have a multitude of laws criminalizing different types of fraud. Fraudulent conduct can be either a federal crime, a state crime, or both depending on the facts of the particular case. A person who commits a fraudulent act may simultaneously violate state and federal laws, and, therefore, face prosecution in both state and federal courts.
Penalties of a Fraud Crime
Convictions for fraud cases can result in serious criminal penalties depending on the facts and circumstances of a given case. As a rule of thumb, the severity of the penalties increases as the dollar loss amount increases. This is true in both State and Federal courts.
A sentence for a fraud crime can include a term of imprisonment in jail or prison. Some types of fraud, like identity theft, carry mandatory minimum sentences. Some Federal charges can lead to 10 years or more in federal prison.
Probation and Restitution
Both State and Federal courts can sentence a defendant to probation in some fraud cases depending on the particular fraud conviction and monetary loss amount. Sometimes probation is in lieu of jail, but oftentimes it is tacked on after a term of imprisonment. In Federal court, this is referred to as “supervised release.” Being on probation or supervised release is a significant restraint on your liberty and subjects you to constant scrutiny by a probation officer to ensure you are not violating the terms and conditions of your probation. In State court, the maximum length of a probationary sentence is limited by the statutory maximum prison sentence for the crime. For example, a second-degree felony is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison, therefore a straight probationary sentence for a second-degree felony can be up to 15 years. Long probationary sentences are not unusual in fraud cases where large amounts of restitution are owed. This is because probationary conditions almost always require the defendant to make restitution payments to the victim. The long probationary term ensures that the defendant continues to pay the restitution under the threat of a possible jail or prison sentence for a probation violation based on non-payment. Other common conditions of probation include: reporting to a probation officer, not committing additional crimes, finding or maintaining employment, and drug testing.
Fines for fraud offenses are not uncommon and vary based on the facts and circumstances of the case. Fines in federal fraud cases can be up to $250,000.
In addition to the formal sentence, the impact of a fraud conviction can have long-lasting consequences for a person’s career, education, housing situation, and immigration status, as well as result in the loss of the Constitutional rights to vote, serve on a jury, and bear firearms.
Types of Fraud Cases
Fraud offenses encompass a broad range of conduct and occur in just about every industry. South Florida has the dubious distinction of being a hotbed for fraud crimes, whether it be in the healthcare, real estate, investment, insurance, banking, or government sectors. Our Miami based criminal law firm has many years of experience defending fraud cases and offers representation to potential clients charged with:
- Mortgage Fraud
- Mail & Wire Fraud
- Benefits Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Organized Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Healthcare Fraud
- Prescription Fraud
- Government Fraud
- Import / Export Crimes
- Environmental Crimes
- Investment Fraud
- Tax Fraud
- Check Offenses
- Marriage Fraud
- Computer and Internet Fraud
- Uttering a Forged Instrument
- Forgery and Counterfeiting Offenses
Contact An Experienced Miami Fraud Attorney
Whether you or a loved one has been arrested for a fraud crime, or are under investigation, it is critical to consult with an experienced fraud lawyer in Miami as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. You need the counsel of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your case with a favorable outcome.
Over the years, we have represented dozens of clients in a wide range of fraud cases. There is a good chance that we have dealt with your type of case and have represented clients who shared similar needs and concerns that you may have. Feel free to browse through the results section of our site for a representative sample of some of our past cases, and the results we have achieved for our clients.
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