Fraud is a type of white collar crime involving a scheme to deceive a person or entity for financial gain or cause harm.
In order to convict someone of fraud, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intentionally defrauded or misrepresented certain facts to another party, which resulted in some form of harm. Common types of fraud include credit card fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, and even identity theft.
Unfortunately, fraud is both a state and federal offense in Florida, which means a conviction can result in serious criminal penalties, including a lengthy sentence in federal prison. However, there are several potential defenses that a defendant – and their criminal defense attorney – can use to avoid conviction.
The following are common defenses against fraud allegations:
- No intent – As we mentioned before, the prosecution must prove that the defendant “intentionally” deceived another party. For example, if a person accidently makes a purchase using his friend’s personal information, then this would not be considered from.
- Insufficient evidence – Simply put, there is not enough evidence to prove that the defendant committed fraud, according to state or federal law.
- Mistaken identity – From e-commerce and banking to social media, since many fraud schemes are now done online, it is not uncommon for a criminal investigation to mistakenly arrest someone who has nothing to do with the alleged offense.
- Non-fraudulent statements – Not all false statements are fraudulent. The misleading statement must be associated with an existing fact, rather than a promise to fulfill in the future. Furthermore, expressing an opinion is also not a fraudulent act.
- Entrapment – If the government or police (even working undercover) compels someone to commit a criminal offense that that person would not have otherwise committed, then it is considered entrapment. Keep in mind, merely being presented with the chance to commit a crime is not entrapment.
If you or a loved one has been accused of fraud in Miami, let The Hoffman Firm help you avoid serious criminal penalties. Attorney Evan Hoffman can listen to your story, thoroughly review your case, and determine which defenses are available to protect your rights and freedom.
Contact us today at (305) 928-1669 and schedule a free consultation to learn more about fraud in Miami. Get 20+ years of legal experience on your side!