Legal Elements of Fraud in Virginia
Facing fraud charges can be frightening. In everyday language, any behavior from merely bad intent to criminal conduct can be called fraud.
Fraud is the intentional deception of others to gain a financial or personal advantage. However, the prosecution must prove several legal elements. These are:
False representation of a material fact
Intention to mislead
Reasonable reliance by the victim
Damage or loss to the victim
In other words, fraud has to include misrepresentation of a material fact made knowingly with the intention to mislead the victim. A misled party must believe the false statements and act based on these beliefs, resulting in damages to the defrauded party.
Prosecutors in Virginia take fraud claims very seriously and can impose severe penalties. A first-time fraud conviction can result in incarceration. That is why reaching out to a Virginia fraud attorney as soon as you learn you are under investigation for a fraud crime is essential.
What Is a Virginia Fraud Lawyer?
A fraud lawyer is a criminal defense attorney who focuses on helping clients accused of committing fraud.
Fraud defense attorneys gather evidence, interview witnesses, research the circumstances of the crime, and analyze the prosecution’s case. Often, they will try to negotiate a deal that includes reduced charges and sentences, probation, and a reduced bail amount.
A Virginia fraud lawyer can assist you in understanding the severity of the charges against you, the potential penalties you might face, and how to craft a defense that achieves the best outcome.
Retaining a Virginia fraud lawyer Jay P. Mykytiuk of Scrofano Law can help. He can carefully review your case and protect your rights and interests in court. He can also prepare you for any necessary appearances in court or try to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution.
Fraud Litigation in Virginia
Virginia law lists more than 30 types of fraud subject to fraud litigation and both criminal and civil liability. These include, but are not limited to:
- Impersonating an officer
- Tax fraud
- Wire fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Money laundering
- Bad checks
- Investment fraud
- Securities fraud
Fraud charges can be classified as either misdemeanor offenses or felony offenses, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
Potential Penalties in Fraud Cases
Fraud convictions may carry different penalties depending on several factors, including the crime’s extent, the defendant’s criminal record, and whether the offense is classified as a misdemeanor or felony.
For example, the potential criminal penalties for Virginia insurance fraud would depend on the value of the alleged fraud with which the individual is charged. If the insurance fraud is valued at $500 or more, the defendant will most likely face felony charges and additional charges depending on the facts of the case.
Using a fraudulent check in exchange for cash or goods would result in larceny fraud charges. If the crime is characterized as grand larceny, the maximum penalty can result in up to 20 years in prison.
On the other end of the spectrum, mortgage fraud or securities and commodities fraud can be considered a federal offense handled by the federal court. Securities fraud is punishable by a maximum imprisonment of 25 years, plus a fine.
A fraud conviction can have negative ramifications on your personal life as well. If you are convicted of fraudulent activity, it can jeopardize future employment, housing, and other aspects of your life.
Why Hire a Virginia Fraud Attorney?
A criminal charge needs to be dealt with quickly and professionally. If not, it can threaten your future and liberty. Dealing with a criminal charge can be stressful, and in some cases, the best strategy can be to intervene before the trial or before the prosecution even files the charges.
If you are facing criminal fraud charges, reach out to a knowledgeable Virginia fraud lawyer for a free case evaluation. Jay P. Mykytiuk has over a decade of experience defending clients in Virginia courts, with an excellent record of success in litigating tough criminal defense cases.
Potential Defenses Against Fraud Charges
There are many ways Virginia fraud lawyers can build a strong defense against fraud charges. Although every case is different, the most common approach revolves around the issue of intent.
Fraud cases in Virginia require the victim to prove intent and that the perpetrator knowingly misrepresented the facts. If the defendant can prove the misrepresentation wasn’t intentional, fraud wasn’t committed. But, that doesn’t mean defrauded party can’t take legal action – he or she can file a claim for negligent misrepresentation.
There are other potential defenses. For example, one can claim evidence police gained was obtained through improper search and should not be used in court. Also, if the defendant can prove they had permission from the alleged victim, that may result in the charges being dismissed.
If you or someone you love is facing fraud charges, reach out to us as soon as possible. Schedule a free consultation with JPM Legal of Scrofano Law so our Virginia fraud attorneys can evaluate your case and create a defense strategy to help you get your life back on track.
How a Fraud Lawyer Helps with Lawsuit for Fraud in Virginia
Fraud is one of the few offenses that can be prosecuted by the federal government or the Commonwealth of Virginia. If the fraud is committed against a bank, a federally insured financial institution, or any federal institution, the case will probably be handled by the federal court.
That’s why it’s crucial to reach out to an attorney who has already fought against the federal government. A Virginia fraud attorney Jay P. Mykytiuk has represented several clients in state and federal courts in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia and can easily guide you through this process.
Frequently Asked Questions on Fraud
What Is Fraud on the Court in Virginia?
Fraud can also happen in the judicial system. Fraud on the court refers to material representation being made to the court. It can also be a situation where the court itself makes a material misrepresentation. Overall, the court’s impartiality must be disrupted to the point where it cannot perform its functions without bias or prejudice.
Fraud on the court can result in the case being voided and retried by different court officials. Other repercussions include disbarment of attorneys, judges being removed from judicial service, and public officials being removed from their posts.
Can You Sue Someone for Fraud in Virginia?
Yes, but the party suing for fraud usually has to prove reasonable reliance for a successful fraud claim. That means those who didn’t believe the false statement of someone trying to defraud them haven’t really suffered any damages, nor have they been defrauded.
On the other hand, those who did believe a false statement and took action in which they were harmed may have a successful fraud case. However, the alleged victim’s belief has to be reasonable, meaning they couldn’t expose the fraud by having been reasonably diligent.
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