This is the next post in our series on the handling of fraud cases in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our last article provided an overview of topics we will be addressing and stressed the need to contact an attorney if you find yourself facing such charges. Depending on the nature of the case, you may need a criminal defense lawyer who is licensed in Federal Court. In this article we will address another important topic – understanding what constitutes fraud in our state and the penalties associated with such an offense.
“Fraud” is a broad term which covers many types of conduct. Any conduct in which one relays false information to someone else, for some type of gain, can be considered fraud. Examples of such conduct can include:
- Knowingly passing a bad check
- Holding yourself out as someone else for the purposes of gain
- Forging documents
- Forging signatures on a credit card receipt
- Computer crimes intended to deprive someone else of information or wealth
Depending on the nature of the offense and the amounts involved the case may be charged as a misdemeanor, a felony, or as a federal criminal case. The Court process which one will face is going to depend on the type of charges which are brought by prosecutors. When handling such matters it is imperative that you speak with counsel and do not provide information to the police without having an attorney present.
The penalties for the above types of cases, again, depend on the specific circumstances. For example, one who fraudulently uses or transfers money from a credit card will face the following consequences:
- A Class “A” misdemeanor if the amount involved is $1,000 or less. Such a charge carries a sentence of up to one year in jail
- A Class “D” felony if the amount involved is between $1,000 and $5,000
- A Class “C” felony if the amount involved is between $5,000 and $25,000
- A Class “B” felony if the amount involved is more than $25,000
One who commits “financial identity fraud,” meaning that they open an account in a name other than their own, will face a Class “C” felony. This charge will be elevated to a Class “B” felony if the victim was elderly or disabled. Another example of the types of penalties associated with fraud cases are those stemming from computer hacking or or engaging in unauthorized access of a network. Such offenses will typically be charged as a Class “D” felony.
Contact our Little Rock, Arkansas attorneys today if you have been charged with fraud. Our lawyers have more than twenty-five years of combined legal experience and will aggressively protect your rights. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.