Fraud is considered a “white collar” crime, meaning that it is generally a nonviolent offense committed for financial gain, often by professionals. In California, the term “fraud” is fairly broad, covering many possible offenses. Depending upon the particular statute under which the defendant is charged, the crime may be considered a misdemeanor, a felony, or a wobbler (punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the circumstances). Fines and other penalties may also apply, so it is important to consult a white collar crime attorney as soon as possible if you are facing a fraud charge so that together you can protect your rights. Seasoned San Bernardino and Riverside County fraud defense lawyer Gregory H. Comings has many years of experience defending the criminally accused, and he is available to discuss your case.
One of the most important things to know about a criminal prosecution is that the State of California has the burden of proof. Unless the prosecutor can produce evidence sufficient to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must be acquitted. The defendant has a constitutional right to refrain from self-incrimination, and thus they are under no obligation to testify at trial. In fact, many defendants do not take the witness stand. Likewise, the defendant does not need to call witnesses on their behalf, although doing so can be helpful if the defendant’s attorney believes that it is in the defendant’s best interest. In criminal trials, much of the defense strategy focuses on identifying weaknesses in the State’s case, such as inconsistencies in a witness’ testimony, a lack of physical evidence, a possibly improper motive by an accuser, and so on.Defending a Fraud Case Under California Law
In addition to disproving or creating reasonable doubt as to one of the elements of the crime, a defendant may have other arguments to make, such as a lack of fraudulent intent, mistaken identity, or entrapment. A fraud defense attorney can help Riverside and San Bernardino defendants determine whether some of these strategies may apply in their situation. Additionally, a constitutional defense such as an illegal search and seizure or a violation of the defendant’s right to counsel at certain stages of the proceedings could be relevant. Although the State must prove the defendant’s guilt overall, the burden of proof sometimes shifts to the defendant to prove a specific defense. A knowledgeable attorney can help the accused investigate the facts giving rise to the criminal charges against them with an eye toward discovering any irregularities or illegalities by the police and preparing any motions that may be required to exclude any and all evidence obtained in a questionable manner.
Defending a fraud case to the fullest extent of the law is important because the defendant can spend a considerable amount of time in prison and be forced to pay large fines if they are convicted. Moreover, they face the possibility of going through life as a convicted felon or, at least, with a record of a conviction involving moral turpitude or dishonesty. This can cause difficulty with employment, housing, family relationships, and other areas of life in the future, and it can even lead to deportation for people who are not U.S. citizens.Hire a Fraud Defense Lawyer in Riverside or San Bernardino County
Knowledgeable attorney Gregory H. Comings has many years of experience representing people who are facing charges of fraud or another white collar crime. If you have been charged with mail fraud, gambling fraud, senior fraud, internet fraud, false impersonation, forgery or counterfeiting, credit card or check fraud, securities fraud, welfare fraud, or insurance fraud, you could be facing harsh punishments under the California Penal Code. To schedule a consultation with San Bernardino and Riverside County fraud defense attorney Gregory H. Comings, call us today at (951) 686-3457 or contact us online. Attorney Comings also can advise and represent people who are seeking a drug crime lawyer or who have been charged with domestic violence, sex crimes, or other serious offenses.