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College Park Fraud Lawyer

Fraud is a broad term that generally refers to actions involving some sort of deception, usually with respect to money or financial transactions. Often referred to as a white-collar crime, fraud does not typically involve any element of violence.

Nonetheless, the charges stemming from any type of fraud can be severe, which may make consulting a College Park fraud lawyer key to protecting your rights and interests.

An accomplished criminal defense attorney may be able to assess the weight of the evidence against you and work toward building a strong defense to the charges against you. Having experienced legal advocacy on your side may make it more likely to obtain a positive outcome in your case.

Fraud and Bad Checks in College Park

One of the more common types of fraud is bad check fraud. Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 8-103, it is illegal to write checks:

  • From bank accounts containing insufficient funds
  • With the intention to stop payment on them
  • With the intention that the bank refuse payment on them

The penalties for writing a bad check depend upon the value of the funds for which individuals wrote the check. Generally, a bad check that individuals write for less than $1,500 result in a misdemeanor offense, and a bad check for over $1,500 result in a felony offense. Multiple bad checks written to the same party within a 30-day period that total at least $1,500 also can be a felony offense.

According to § 8-106, a misdemeanor bad check offense can cause a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $500. However, if the value of the check is less than $100, the potential jail sentence decreases to a maximum of 90 days.

For felony offenses, the potential prison sentence can be as much as 20 years for bad check or checks valued at $100,000 or more. Due to these potentially harsh penalties, getting advice from a skilled College Park fraud lawyer can be key to minimizing the impact of fraud charges.

Credit Card Fraud

Pursuant to § 8-203, credit card fraud may occur when individuals knowingly make or cause to be made false statements in writing about the identity of another in order to obtain a credit card.

It also is a misdemeanor offense under § 8-204 to take a credit card belonging to another with consent or receive a card known to be stolen with the intent to use, transfer, or sell it to another who is not the card owner.

Identity Fraud and Theft

Md. Code, Crim. Law § 8-301 defines various circumstances that may lead to identity theft charges. For instance, this section makes it illegal to purposely obtain or help another obtain the personally identifying information of others without consent, and with the purposes of using it to fraudulently obtain something of value.

Other types of identity fraud or theft covered by this statute include:

  • Using re-encoder or skimming devices to commit fraud
  • Inducing others to provide personal identifying information or payment device numbers to commit fraud
  • Assuming the identity of another or a fictitious person in order to get a benefit or something of value, to access health information or care, or to avoid the payment of a debt

These offenses can be felonies or misdemeanors based on the value of the benefit, credit, goods, or services obtained in the fraudulent transaction. Transactions valued at less than $500 generally are misdemeanors and those valued at more than $500 are felonies.

Consult with a College Park Fraud Attorney Today

Fraud offenses can result in serious criminal charges and penalties that can include long prison terms and high fines. The nature of fraud offenses, in that they involve some type of deception, also may make it difficult for individuals to find employment, obtain credit, and even rent a place to live in some areas.

A College Park fraud lawyer may be able to help determine if any defenses are applicable in your case and devise a strategy for fighting the charges against you.

Avoiding a negative outcome from fraud charges can be essential to moving on with your life. Do not hesitate to get advice from an experienced College Park fraud attorney if you are facing one of the many kinds of fraud offenses under Maryland law.