New York Fraud Defense Lawyers
Fraud is a broad catchall term for a variety of offenses criminalized in New York Penal Code Title K. The umbrella of fraud includes crimes such as forgery, issuing false written statements, identity theft, fraud on creditors, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, issuing bad checks, falsifying business records, and other misconduct involving deceit. More serious frauds are punishable as felonies and can carry severe penalties, including lengthy jail or prison sentences.
A qualified criminal fraud defense attorney needs experience in white-collar cases, as the issues can be more complex and numbers-driven than other crimes. The detail-oriented fraud defense attorneys at Dupée & Monroe are prepared to defend you against charges of any variety of fraud and ensure that you are not railroaded by prosecutors or forced to open yourself to unnecessary criminal or civil liability. We will work with you in order to provide a tailored defense based on your circumstances, negotiate on your behalf to get your charges reduced or dropped and fight for your rights all the way through trial if necessary.
Elements of Civil vs. Criminal Fraud
Fraud is, generally speaking, deliberate deception committed in order to secure an unfair or unlawful gain or benefit. Making any false or misleading statement or otherwise concealing facts that should be disclosed in order to obtain something of value can generally be thought of as fraud, but not all such actions may rise to the level of criminal fraud. Criminal fraud occurs when committed with the intent to deceive another person, when the fraudulent statement relates to a material fact, and the defendant knows that the statements are false. “Material fact” refers to a fact that is essential to a given transaction.
Fraud can be a very serious crime with severe consequences in the criminal court, but people accused of fraud are also often exposed to civil liability. If you commit fraud against an individual or entity, such as by making fraudulent misrepresentations in a business deal, you may be open to a civil lawsuit brought by the victims. Civil cases can lead to heavy monetary awards (and penalties), but they do not subject the perpetrator to jail time.
Additionally, while in some cases facts presented at a criminal trial can be used against a defendant in a civil matter, civil and criminal fraud are often distinct enough that just because a defendant pleaded guilty to criminal fraud does not mean that a civil fraud plaintiff will automatically win in court. A talented criminal defense attorney can help a defendant distinguish the cases and preserve defenses in a related civil matter while protecting themselves against more severe criminal liability.
Defending Against a Charge of Fraud
There are common defenses to all charges of fraud regardless of the specific type of fraud of which you are accused. Fraud cases are more focused on the defendant’s knowledge and intentions than are many other criminal cases. If the prosecutor cannot prove that the defendant was aware of the fraudulent nature of the scheme or papers involved, or otherwise had no intent to defraud the alleged victims, then there can be no fraud conviction. A surprising number of fraud cases can be refuted if the defendant can credibly say that they did not know they were committing fraud. Fraud is one area in particular where it is vital to keep in mind that the prosecutor carries the burden to prove all elements of the crime. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can help you make your strongest intent or knowledge-based argument, and ensure that the prosecutor is held to their high burden of proof before they can obtain any sort of fraud conviction.
Help is Available for Fraud Charges from Our Hudson Valley Lawyers
If you have been arrested and charged with fraud under New York state law, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C. for a fraud defense lawyer in Goshen. We represent clients charged with fraud and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.