Fraud is a serious crime in Columbia, Missouri and is defined as intentionally obtaining or attempting to obtain something of value by deceit, misrepresentation, or other deceptive means. Fraud charges can be brought against an individual for a wide range of activities, including but not limited to identity theft, credit card fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, and insurance fraud. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of fraud cases reported in Missouri, leading to an increase in the number of individuals charged with fraud. With the help of our hardworking criminal attorneys, we could help you achieve a positive case outcome. Reach out to a Columbia fraud lawyer today.
Unfortunately, statistics show that fraud is a common problem throughout the country. According to Experian, a credit reporting agency, there were close to 3 million incidents of non-identity theft fraud reported by consumers in 2021. This resulted in over $6.1 billion in losses directly due to fraud. In Missouri, there were close to 61,000 complaints of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2021.
If someone is charged with fraud in Missouri, the penalties they face can be strict. Depending on the severity of the fraud and how much money was stolen or attempted to be taken, fraud charges can result in jail time, hefty fines, and restitution for any money that was fraudulently taken.
For example, if an individual is charged with the fraudulent use of a credit card and the value is less than $150, or the individual is charged with writing bad checks under $500, the individual can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. This can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. On the other hand, a Class D Felony can result in a fine of up to $5,000 (or up to twice the amount fraudulently gained, up to $20,000) and/or up to seven years in prison.
Additionally, fraud convictions may also result in a criminal record, which can have long-term implications for an individual’s future job prospects or educational opportunities.
If you are facing fraud charges in Missouri, your first step should be to seek legal representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney who has experience defending individuals against fraud charges. A knowledgeable fraud defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you, advise you of your rights, and help you build a strong defense. A criminal defense lawyer will review the evidence against you and determine if the prosecution has a strong case. Additionally, they can negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf, in an effort to reduce the charges against you or secure a plea bargain.
In the event that your case goes to trial, your criminal defense lawyer can represent you in court and argue your case before the judge and jury. A strong defense can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable ruling, such as a reduced sentence or a not-guilty verdict.
Fraud charges in Columbia, MO can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with fraud, it is important to take immediate action to defend yourself. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
We understand that fraud charges can have a serious impact on your life. At the Columbia Law Office of Chris Miller, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible representation. Our team of criminal defense lawyers will work closely with you to understand your case and build a strong defense. Whether you are facing charges for identity theft, credit card fraud, forgery, or any other type of fraud, we are here to help. Contact a Columbia fraud lawyer today for a complimentary case review and consultation.