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West Palm Beach Fraud Defense Attorney Josh LeRoy on:

Fraud & Related Charges

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An experienced West Palm Beach fraud attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence – potentially life-changing. A few of the most common charges that fall into the fraud category are detailed below.

Before hiring a fraud defense attorney, what should I know about a Fraudulent Use Of Credit Cards charge?

According to Florida law, a person commits the crime of Fraudulent Use of credit cards when they, “with intent to defraud the issuer or a person or organization providing money, goods, services, or anything else of value or any other person, uses, for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value, a credit card obtained or retained in violation of this part or a credit card which he or she knows is forged, or who obtains money, goods, services, or anything else of value by representing, without the consent of the cardholder, that he or she is the holder of a specified card or by representing that he or she is the holder of a card and such card has not been issued.”

In simple terms, it is a crime to use another’s credit card to acquire goods, services, or money, without the cardholder’s consent.

What are the penalties for the Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards?

Fraudulent Use Of Credit Cards, F.S. 817.61 Before hiring a fraud defense attorney, what should I know about a Fraudulent Use Of Credit Cards charge?
Fraudulent Use Of Credit Cards, F.S. 817.61
  • If the State alleges the Defendant unlawfully used a credit card less than twice in six months, and the charges were less than $100, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor. Consequently, upon conviction, the Defendant is subject to penalties ranging from a term of probation up to one year in the county jail.
  • If the State alleges the credit card was charged more than twice in six months, with charges that exceed $100, the crime is a third-degree felony. As a result, upon conviction, the Defendant is subject to penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 5 years in state prison.

What defense will a skilled Fraud Attorney use for Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards?

A common defense for fraudulent use of credit cards is the Defendant did not intend to commit the alleged crime. But a more common, perhaps more critical, defense is demonstrating that agents of the State obtained its evidence in violation of the Constitution. When a defendant, through an experienced fraud attorney, can show the judge that the State acted in breach of the law, the State will often drop the case or offer a desirable plea agreement to resolve the controversy.

What is Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification: F.S. 817.568(2)(A),(B),(C)?

According to Florida Statutes, Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification occurs when a person “willfully and without authorization fraudulently uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use, personal identification information concerning another person without first obtaining that person’s consent…”

“Personal identification” refers to information used to access a person’s financial resources. Examples include, but are not limited to, a name, postal address, phone number, Social Security number, birth date, driver’s license or I.D., alien registration number, passport, employer I.D., Medicaid or food assistance account numbers, banking, debit or credit card numbers, fingerprints, voice prints, retina images, medical records, or any other number that someone can utilize to access a person’s financial resources.

Fraudulent Use Of Personal Identification, F.S. 817.568(2)(A),(B),(C)
Fraudulent Use Of Personal Identification, F.S. 817.568(2)(A),(B),(C)

What are the penalties for Fraudulent Use of Personal identification?

  • Suppose the offender is found in unlawful possession of the identification and intends to use it. In that case, the offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to five years in state prison.
  • Suppose the offender has used the identification of 10 or more, but fewer than 20 people or the amount of injury or fraud perpetrated is $5000 or more. In that case, the offense is a second-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from probation up to 15 years in state prison. In addition, upon conviction, Florida law requires the judge to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in state prison.
  • Suppose the offender has used the identification of 20 or more people, or the amount of the injury or fraud perpetrated is $50,000 or more. In that case, the offense is a first-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from probation up to 30 years in state prison. In addition, upon conviction, Florida law requires the judge to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in state prison.
  • Suppose the offender has used the identification of 30 or more people or the amount of injury or fraud perpetrated is $100,000 or more. In that case, the offense is a first-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from probation up to 30 years in state prison. In addition, Florida law requires the judge to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in state prison.

What are some defenses to the Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification?

One defense to this charge is that the accused consented to use the information in question. But even more importantly, a defendant may prevail when charged with this crime if the accused, through his lawyer, can show the State obtained its evidence in violation of the Constitution. Such unlawful conduct by the State occurs frequently and provides the basis for the Defendant to ask the judge to exclude such tainted evidence from the case. When that happens, the State often drops the case or offers a highly desirable plea to resolve the controversy.

What is Scheme to Defraud: F.S. 817.034?

According to Florida Statutes, a Scheme to Defraud is defined as “a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud one or more persons, or with intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.”

What are the penalties for Scheme to defraud?

Scheme To Defraud, F.S. 817.034(3)(D)
Scheme To Defraud, F.S. 817.034(3)(D)
  • If the State alleges fraud of less than $20,000, the crime is a third-degree felony, with penalties ranging from probation to up to 5 years in state prison.
  • If the State alleges the victim fraud or more than $20,000 but less than $50,000, the crime is a second-degree felony, the penalties for which range from a term of probation up to 15 years in state prison.
  • Florida law classifies fraud of $50,000 or more as a first-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation to up to 30 years in state prison.

What defense will a skilled Fraud Attorney use for a scheme to defraud charge?

Among other obligations, the State must prove the Defendant had the conscious intent to defraud the alleged victim. In addition, and equal if not greater in importance, if the Defendant, through an experienced fraud attorney, can show the State obtained its evidence in violation of the Constitution, the State, concluding that it can no longer win at trial, will frequently drop such a case, or offer a highly desirable plea offer to resolve the controversy.

How serious is Defrauding an Innkeeper: F.S. 509.151?

Florida Law describes the crime of “Defrauding an Innkeeper” as obtaining “… food, lodging, or other accommodations having a value of less than $300 at any public food service establishment, or any transient establishment, with the intent to defraud the operator thereof.”

Defrauding An Innkeeper, F.S. 509.151
Defrauding An Innkeeper, F.S. 509.151

What are the penalties for defrauding an innkeeper in Palm Beach County?

  • If the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused unlawfully obtained a value equal to $300 or less, the crime is classified as a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
  • If the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused unlawfully obtained a value of more than $300, the crime is classified as a 3rd-degree felony and is punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 5 years in state prison.

What are common defenses for defrauding an innkeeper?

To be convicted of this crime, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the Defendant intended to violate the law. Because “intent” refers to a person’s State of mind and is not something that can be seen or heard, the State often finds it difficult to succeed in such prosecutions.

In addition, if the amount the Defendant owes for food or lodging is in dispute, and they refuse to accept the amount the Defendant offers to pay, the State cannot convict the accused. In addition, the statute does not apply in cases where there was a written agreement in advance where the Defendant would delay payment.

Can a West Palm Beach fraud Attorney help me with an Obtaining Property By Worthless Check charge: F.S. 832.05?

According to Florida law, the crime of Obtaining Property By Worthless Check occurs when a person, firm, or corporation “obtain[s] any services, goods, wares, or other things of value using a check, draft, or other written order upon any bank, person, firm, or corporation, knowing at the time of the making, drawing, uttering, issuing, or delivering of such check or draft that the maker thereof has not sufficient funds on deposit in or credit with such bank or depository with which to pay the same upon presentation…”

Obtaining Property By Worthless Check, F.S. 832.05
Obtaining Property By Worthless Check, F.S. 832.05

It is important to note that this section does not apply to cases where the recipient of the promissory note, or check, was informed in advance of the lack of funds or that the recipient had reason to believe there was a lack of funds to ensure payment.

What are the penalties for Obtaining Property with a Worthless Check?

  • Suppose the State alleges the Defendant obtained Property by a worthless check of less than $150. In that case, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 1 year in the county jail.
  • Suppose the State alleges the Defendant obtained Property by a worthless check for more than $150. In that case, the crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 5 years in state prison.

What are the common defenses for Obtaining Property by a Worthless Check?

It is a defense to the charge if the recipient of the worthless check knew, or had reason to know, that the accused lacked sufficient funds to ensure payment or if the check was post-dated. In addition, a defendant can win his case if, through an experienced fraud attorney, he shows the testimony of the State’s witnesses is inconsistent, that the State’s witnesses have a reason or motive to lie, or that the State obtained its evidence against the accused in violation of the Constitution.

How can a West Palm Beach Forgery Attorney help me with a Forgery charge: F.S. 831.01?

Florida law defines forgery as a crime that occurs when someone “falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits [a public record, official document, money, or something worth a monetary value].”

The list of items that fall under this category is extensive, including, but not limited to, public records, certificates, charters, deeds, wills, currency, bonds, insurance policies, and promissory notes.

Forgery, F.S. 831.01
Forgery, F.S. 831.01

What are the penalties for forgery?

As a third-degree felony, forgery is punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to five years in state prison.

What defense will a skilled forgery Attorney use for a Forgery charge?

For the State to convict someone of forgery, they must prove the person possessed the conscious intent to create and misrepresent the false document in question. In addition, the Defendant may defeat the prosecution if, through an experienced forgery lawyer, he can show the State obtained its evidence in violation of the Constitution. Such unlawful conduct by agents of the State happens quite often. When the Defendant succeeds in showing the judge violations of the law by the State, the State Attorney’s Office commonly drops the case or offers a desirable plea agreement to resolve the matter.

Should I hire a West Palm Beach Welfare Fraud Attorney for a Welfare Fraud charge: F.S. 414.39?

In Florida, when applying for public assistance from a state or federal program, it is a crime for the applicant to fail to disclose a material fact used to determine if they are qualified to receive such assistance. Under the same section of the law, it is also a crime to disclose a change of circumstances to obtain or continue to receive public assistance to which one is not entitled.

Welfare Fraud, Florida Statutes 414.39
Welfare Fraud, Florida Statutes 414.39

What defense will a skilled West Palm Beach Welfare Fraud Attorney use for the charge of Welfare Fraud?

If the State accuses you of welfare fraud, the State must prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you performed the allegedly illegal acts “knowingly.” If the State fails to do so, or if your welfare fraud attorney disproves that your actions were performed “knowingly” but instead occurred by mistake or accident, the State cannot succeed in lawfully convicting you.

Remember: the law requires the State to prove its case against you beyond all reasonable doubt. Thus, to win your case, it is not your attorney’s job to prove you are innocent. Instead, by careful study of the facts and the law, it is the job of your Welfare Fraud Attorney to show that reasonable doubt, or better yet, several reasonable doubts, exist in the State’s prosecution.

What are the penalties for Welfare Fraud?

A conviction for welfare fraud of $100,000 or more within one year is a 1st-degree felony, subjecting the person convicted to penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 30 years in prison.
A conviction for welfare fraud of at least $20,000 but less than $100,000 within one year is a 2nd-degree felony, subjecting the person convicted to penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 15 years in prison.
A conviction for welfare fraud of at least $200 but less than $20,000 within one year is a 3rd-degree felony, subjecting the person convicted to penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 5 years in prison.
A conviction for welfare fraud of less than $200 within one year is a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a range of penalties from a term of probation up to five years in prison.

What is Unlawful Use of An Identification Card, F.S. 322.051, 322.212?

Because so many governmental agencies require proof of identification, people who are unable to obtain a driver’s license, whether due to medical disability, legal prohibition, or some other impediment, need a reliable source of identification.

Hence, the State of Florida issues identification cards to those who submit a properly completed application and pay the required fee. The Florida Legislature has deemed it a violation of law to obtain or alter an identification card fraudulently, to lend or sell such cards, and to permit another’s use of one’s card knowingly.

What defense will a skilled Fraud Attorney use for the charge of Unlawful Use Of An Identification Card?

Unlawful Use Of An Identification Card, Florida Statutes S.322.051, S.322.212
Unlawful Use Of An Identification Card, Florida Statutes S.322.051, S.322.212

When police collect evidence to build a criminal case against a person, a firm body of law regulates and limits their actions. Suppose police collect evidence in violation of such law. In that case, the law imposes a penalty on the police: the evidence is not permissible in court, and the State cannot use it against the person accused of criminal wrongdoing.

An experienced fraud defense attorney may find a defense in how the police obtained their evidence.

What are the penalties for the Unlawful Use Of An Identification Card?

Florida law classifies most unlawful uses of an identification card as a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 5 years in prison. However, suppose one only unlawfully uses an identification card by misrepresenting one’s age. In that case, the offense is a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 60 days in jail.

Charged? Call West Palm Beach Fraud Defense Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford To Lose?

If you, or someone you know, find yourself in need of a fraud attorney in West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and up to Jupiter) or any of the surrounding areas, use the form below to drop me a note.

Tell me about yourself, what’s happened, and a good time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

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