If a prosecutor or law enforcement has accused you of committing fraud, it may be challenging to understand the myriad actions which the law determines to be fraudulent and illegal without the help of a criminal defense attorney. Fraud charges can be especially damaging for individuals who wish to pursue careers in banking, finance, and other sectors, so it is essential that a defendant has a full comprehension of the various statutes and violations.
A Charleston fraud lawyer may be able to help you understand the allegations against you and work to either fight the charges or plead them down.
Types of Fraud Crimes in Charleston
Fraud encompasses a wide variety of specific acts but mainly relates to any act that intentionally misleads a person or entity to exact a financial advantage. Some common examples of fraud include:
- Check fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Bank fraud
- Identity fraud
- Health care fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Tax fraud
- Mortgage fraud
Some fraudulent acts violate federal law, and others violate state law. Mortgage and bank fraud typically fall under federal law, for example, which means the federal government may pursue legal action. Individuals facing fraud charges should reach out to a seasoned fraud lawyer in Charleston.
Forgery in Charleston
Certain acts of fraud fall under the jurisdiction of the state of South Carolina. If a person does any of the following, for example, they are in violation of South Carolina Code §16-13-10:
- Creating false writing
- Stating that fraudulent writing is authentic
- Falsifying land records
If the amount at issue was $10,000 or more, the related activity carries a penalty of up to ten years of incarceration and order that person pays a fine at the court’s discretion. If the amount was less than $10,000, the charge is still a felony, but the punishment is five years in jail and a fine.
If an act of fraud did not result in any actual financial harm, it might be charged as a misdemeanor.
Identity Fraud in Charleston
If a person uses a fake driver’s license or another form of identification to obtain a refund from a store, the act may be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the value of the goods. This is a violation of S.C. Code §16-13-440.
If a person sells a fake ID, that is a misdemeanor under S.C. Code §16-13-450. The punishment may include six months in jail and a fine of $500.
If a person obtains another’s personal information to acquire money or to defraud a business, that is a crime under S.C. Code §16-13-510. If guilty, the court may sentence that person to ten years in jail, as well as order that person to pay a fine and make restitution to the victim.
Learn More from a Charleston Fraud Lawyer
If you are facing fraud charges, you may benefit from a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A Charleston fraud lawyer could represent you during police questioning, negotiate with prosecutors, and build a strong defense to preserve your future. Do not hesitate to reach out; a felony conviction on fraud charges could complicate employment, education, and housing opportunities for the remainder of your life.