If you have been charged with fraud in California, it can be an incredibly stressful and daunting experience. But understanding your potential legal defenses for a fraud charge is the first step towards taking back control of the situation.
The state of California takes fraud seriously and prosecutes those who violate its laws rigorously. To ensure that you understand your rights better and put yourself in a position to fight these serious criminal charges, it’s important to speak with experienced attorneys familiar with defending fraud cases in the state.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the various defenses available to people accused of committing acts of fraud in California, so that anyone arrested for fraud has access to critical information about their rights as they face criminal charges.
What Is the Legal Definition of Fraud in California?
Fraud charges in California are a serious matter and can have long-lasting implications for those convicted. It is important to understand the legal definition of fraud before proceeding with any criminal defense proceedings.
In California, fraud is defined as the intentional misrepresentation of a material past or present fact by one person with the knowledge that such misrepresentation could lead to injury or loss inflicted upon another. Fraudulent actions may involve a wide range of matters, from the use of counterfeit instruments to breach of contract and deceitful business practices.
Defenses for Fraud in California
In California, a fraud conviction requires proof of intent to deceive for financial gain. Common defense strategies for fraud charges in California include:
- Insufficient Evidence – There wasn't enough evidence to suggest guilt and all the required elements for fraud weren’t met.
- No Intent – The accused had no intention or knowledge of a potential scheme.
- Mistake of Fact – The defendant did not knowingly make false statements with regards to any material fact.
- No Justifiable Reliance – Even if untrue information were presented in this case, an alleged victim could not have justifiably relied upon such patently absurd falsehoods.
- No Injury – The alleged victim was spared any injury and suffered no losses.
Other common defenses include rights violations, like illegal search and seizure and entrapment.
If I’m Facing Fraud Charges, What Should I Do?
When you’re facing fraud charges, it is important to seek help from a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer.
At Appel & Morse, our criminal defense attorneys will evaluate the strength of the evidence against you, as well as any potential defenses that may be available, such as lack of intent to commit a crime or mistake of fact. Our skilled lawyers understand the relevant legal issues and can work on the best strategy for your case. We will work diligently on your behalf to protect your rights and explore all possible strategies to secure the best outcome possible for your case.