Virginia Fraud Lawyer
Fraud is the practice of deceiving another person or entity for personal gain. Virginia crimes relating to fraud are numerous; everything from forging money and documents to falsely declaring a going-out-of-business sale to maliciously activating a fire alarm in a public building is considered fraud. If you are accused or charged with one of the many forms of fraud in Virginia, you need one of our Virginia fraud lawyers at your side to ensure you are well represented in a court of law. You will want to check out our DC and Maryland page for fraud relating to those states.
Types of Fraud
According to Chapter 6 of Virginia Code § 18.2, the definition of fraud includes dozens of separate crimes. If you have been charged with fraud, chances are good that you have also been charged with related crimes or multiple counts of fraud, further compounding your legal troubles. Here are some popular types of fraud in Virginia:
- Falsifying transcripts or diplomas (§ 18.2-172.1): If you were to falsify or alter a diploma or transcript from a college or university and use that document to further your own financial or professional gain, you could be found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
- False statements to obtain property or credit (§ 18.2-186): This includes both electronically signed documents and paper documents, whether you are attempting to obtain something of value of yourself or for another person or organization. It is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.
- Credit card theft (§ 18.2-192): If you are found guilty of knowingly holding or taking possession of another person’s credit card information with intent to use and without consent from the owner, you could face up to 20 years in prison.
- Money laundering (§ 18.2-246.3): If you knowingly act to convert cash or property into another type of asset, and you know the cash or property is proceeds from an activity that would be punishable as a felony anywhere in the United States, you could be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or a Class 6 felony.
Due to the fact that many of these types of crimes are related to one another, you could be hit with several charges simultaneously. Plus, law enforcement officials will seek to add on multiple counts of a charge if you commit fraud multiple times. For example, you can be charged with one count of credit card fraud for each card you fraudulently use or sell. The higher the number of counts in your charge, the more severe your punishment will be if you are found guilty. If you are faced with this situation, talk with our Virginia fraud lawyers as soon as possible to get the best outcome for your case.
Fraud charges run the gamut from the fairly lenient Class 4 misdemeanor ($250 fine) to a serious felony charge that can reach 20 years in prison and a fine of $100,000. If you are charged with a Class 4 felony like embezzlement, fraud charges can follow, as law enforcement may argue that you used forms of fraud to carry out embezzlement actions. You can also be subject to probation, restitution, or other forms of punishment other than or in addition to incarceration.
Punishments for misdemeanors in Virginia are detailed in § 18.2-11 of the Virginia Code, and range from the least severe (Class 4) to most severe (Class 1). In addition, if you were to commit any misdemeanor with proximity to children, you could be barred from being within 100 feet of a child day care, primary school, or secondary school. Fraud misdemeanors in Virginia are punishable by jail time of less than a year and a relatively small fine, but these punitive measures can increase as the number of fraud counts also increases.
Examples of fraud misdemeanors are:
- Impersonating an officer: Class 1 misdemeanor
- Illegal use of insignia: Class 4 misdemeanor
- Audiovisual recording of motion pictures (in a privately owned theater): Class 1 misdemeanor.
For felonies, if you are found guilty of one of the more serious forms of fraud, your punishment will compound. Some examples of fraud felonies in Virginia are listed below. If you are charged with any of these crimes, call a Virginia fraud lawyer right away.
- Forging coin or bank notes: Class 4 felony
- Identity theft: Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony
- Issuing bad checks: Up to a Class 6 felony
- Obtaining money or signature by false pretense: Class 4 felony.
Punishments for such felonies are found in section § 18.2-10 of the Virginia Code. Felony charges ranges from Class 6, which comes with up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine, to Class 1, which is punishable by death. However, there are no fraud charges that result in Classes 1, 2, or 3 felonies. If you are unsure about what level of severity your charge is, call our Virginia fraud lawyers to receive more information.
After a Fraud Conviction
There are numerous possibilities of sentencing that accompany a fraud conviction in Virginia. Because of this, it is best to talk with a Virginia fraud lawyer about your individual situation. Fraud is a serious offense in Virginia as well as the United States. If you are charged with fraud in Virginia, you will need proficient representation as you may also be charged on the federal level. Contact our Virginia fraud lawyers today.
Our Virginia fraud lawyers are located throughout the state to give you access to brilliant legal minds that can help you defend against fraud charges. We know how difficult it is to find sufficient representation, so we go to great lengths to ensure that a Virginia fraud lawyer from our firm is nearby to help you when you need it most.