Your Fraud Lawyer in Athens, GA
Swingle Levin LLC is your trusted fraud lawyer in Athens, Georgia. With our skills and experience, we are dedicated to delivering the best legal services for fraud cases. Contact us today for a consultation.
Fraud Attorney in Athens, GA
In Georgia, fraud encompasses a range of deceptive practices aimed at gaining something valuable through dishonest means. In Georgia, as in many places, fraud falls under the category of white-collar crimes, characterized by non-violent acts of cunning and concealment, all driven by a desire for personal or business advantage. They can be investigated by both federal and state law enforcement agencies depending on the monetary value of the fraud and the facts of the case, such as a case involving multiple state lines.
Within Georgia law, various financial crimes are classified as fraud, including forgery, deposit fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft. Aside from their severe penalties upon conviction, what ties these offenses together is the common thread of deception for financial gain. It must be demonstrated that the intent to defraud another party was present for securing a fraud conviction.
Given the rigorous prosecution of fraud cases in Georgia, consider enlisting the help of an experienced Athens criminal defense attorney if you find yourself facing allegations or investigations related to fraud. At Swingle Levin LLC, we boast a successful track record defending clients in criminal cases throughout Georgia.
Common Examples of Fraud
Fraud can occur in many diverse situations, ranging from intricate schemes utilizing technology and online access to targeting individuals and companies with the aim of financial gain. Let’s have a look at some of the commonly reported frauds:
Bank fraud involves employing deceitful methods to unlawfully appropriate funds or assets from a bank, financial institution, or the depositors of a bank.
Credit Card Fraud
“Credit card fraud” refers to using a financial transaction card, such as a debit or credit card, to commit fraud. An individual’s credit card information can be stolen by unauthorized users who use it to make purchases, other transactions, or to open new accounts. Credit card fraud also includes account takeover, new account fraud, and cloned cards.
As per Georgia law, identity fraud refers to a crime where a person assumes another person’s identity to commit fraud or other crimes by using that person’s personal information, such as name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or other identifying information. It includes performing financial transactions without the victim’s consent. These fraudulent transactions include getting medical services, filing taxes, or applying for credit.
Using someone else’s identity in Georgia is a felony, per the Identity Fraud statutes (O.C.G.A. 16-9-120 through 16-9-127).
It occurs when a person tries to deceive an insurance company or agent to obtain money that doesn’t belong to them, or they are not entitled.
Mail or Wire Fraud
U.S. federal laws define mail fraud and wire fraud as crimes against the public involving using a physical or electronic mail system to defraud others.
Securities fraud occurs when a person presents false information about companies or securities valuations to deceive investors into buying or selling securities.
A skilled crimes attorney from Swingle Levin can evaluate your case and determine what charges may be filed against you if you are being investigated for fraud in Athens. Get in touch with us today!
Penalties for Fraud
The penalties and sentences for fraud crimes vary according to the type of fraud and can be extremely harsh. A fraud offense may be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense. The defendant may also be subject to civil penalties if the victim brings a civil lawsuit.
Fraud is generally a felony punishable by lengthy prison time and hefty fines. The penalties vary depending on the nature of the crime, how many victims were affected, if the scheme involved victims in multiple states, and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Penalties for a few types of fraud are summarized below:
- Credit card fraud carries a considerable fine of not more than $5,000 and is punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years.
- Identity fraud (identity theft) is a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000 or both. If convicted a second time, the term of imprisonment increases to 3-15 years or up to $250,000 fines or both.
- Mail fraud or wire fraud is a federal crime punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years. The gravest offenses may result in sentences of up to 30 years of imprisonment and fines reaching as high as $1,000,000.
Fraud charges can put everything at risk, including your job, reputation, relationships, future, and freedom. In addition to prison time and heavy fines, you could lose your home, business, and everything you have invested into providing for your family. Working with an experienced white-collar crime lawyer could make a significant difference to the outcome of your case.
What Elements Must Be Proven to Obtain a Fraud Conviction?
All fraud cases, regardless of the exact nature of the crime, require proof of specific factors to obtain a conviction, including that:
- The accused misrepresented the truth.
- The accused knew that the information was inaccurate when they presented it.
- The accused misrepresented the information with the intent that it would be relied upon by the alleged victim.
- The alleged victims suffered a loss because they believed the misinformation.
A person can be convicted of fraud when these elements have been fulfilled.
Defenses to Fraud Charges
While no one can guarantee the outcome of a criminal case, many fraud-based crimes have specific defenses that defendants can almost always use to avoid conviction, including:
- Proving that you had permission or consent from the owner of the property to use it.
- Lack of evidence tying you to the fraudulent acts.
- Absence of proof that you acted intentionally or knowingly deceived the alleged victim.
How Can a Fraud Lawyer in Athens, GA, Assist You?
Representing yourself before the federal government may not be a good idea when you have been accused of a serious crime. Often, defendants do not understand the implications of their initial plea or plea agreement in arraignment court. Due to a lack of familiarity with state and federal law regarding the crime you are accused of, you may not be aware of any viable defenses. An experienced attorney from Swingle Law LLC can help you in the following ways. We can:
- Analyze your case thoroughly by applying our in-depth knowledge of Georgia’s complex fraud laws and the intricacies of the legal system.
- Assess the evidence against you, identifying weaknesses and inconsistencies that can be used in your defense.
- Help you understand your rights and options when facing criminal charges for a fraud crime in Georgia.
- Tailor a robust defense strategy to challenge the prosecution’s case. This may involve discrediting evidence, questioning witnesses, or highlighting flaws in the investigation.
- Vigorously advocate for your rights and present your defense, making compelling arguments to secure and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
- Persuade the prosecutor to dismiss, reduce, or eliminate the charges.
- Negotiate with prosecutors to seek favorable plea deals or reduced charges to minimize potential penalties.
- If convicted, we work to reduce penalties, fines, and sentences and explore alternatives like probation or diversion programs.
- If necessary, file appeals, arguing legal errors or miscarriages of justice in your case.
We want to be your strongest ally when facing fraud allegations, safeguarding your rights, and working tirelessly to achieve the most favorable resolution possible.
Enlist the Help of Swingle Levin LLC Today!
By hiring Swingle Levin LLC to represent you against fraud charges in Athens, Georgia, you are getting the skills of an experienced and knowledgeable Athens fraud defense lawyer. We can also assist you with offenses recognized under the Georgia drug laws or crimes such as aggravated assault, DUI, or murder. Our team of lawyers is committed to protecting your best interests so you can be assured of receiving the attention and representation you deserve.
Contact our law office to schedule a free initial consultation and discuss your case with a lawyer today!