Fraud Penalties in Maryland
Fraud is a complicated crime that can yield a myriad of different consequences. While some fraud penalties in Maryland may include a jail sentence and/or a fine, other penalties could result in probation, or a plea deal. No matter the severity of the potential penalty, a qualified fraud attorney can help. An experienced lawyer can look at your case and work on creating a solid defense strategy that works for you. If you have been charged with fraud, contact an attorney today.
What are Common Penalties Associated With Maryland Fraud Cases?
For almost any type of fraud allegation, if a person has been convicted, one of the potential fraud penalties in Maryland is a jail sentence and a fine. It is important to understand that not everybody convicted is going to go to jail. Often times if the defendant has a clean record up until this point, it is not necessarily the judge’s first choice to give someone an active jail sentence.
Instead, a judge may place a person on supervised probation. Probation means that the judge handed down a sentence, but it was suspended so that the person does not serve the jail sentence and that suspended sentence is essentially hanging over the person’s head. If the person violates their conditions of probation, the court has the option of taking the suspended sentence and making it active.
Conditions of Probation
If a person is placed on probation, they are going to have a lot of different conditions that they must meet. There are the basic conditions, meaning they are supposed to report their agent, ask permission before they moves, and let them know of any changes in their work status or if they going to school. Then there are conditions that would be specific to that defendant. A lot of times in fraud cases, someone is out money.
Perhaps the victim has lost money as a result of the fraud and making restitution is going to be a condition of probation. If that restitution is not pled, it is possible that the person’s probation will be violated. At that point, the judge would have the option to take the suspended sentence and turned it into an active sentence. They can incarcerate the person and they might do it for the piece of the sentence that was suspended or for the whole sentence or suspension. What the penalty will be depends on the severity of the case, the history of that person, and whether or not this is their first offense or if they have a record.
What is the Likelihood of a Plea Deal?
While there are many potential fraud penalties in Maryland, plea deals are very likely. At least 90% of all cases are resolved by way of plea negotiation. That is because there are dozens of cases that are charged every day, there are dozens of cases that are on a court’s docket on any given day, and there is no way logistically that the state’s attorney or the judge is going to be able to go to trial for all of those case.
Reasons the State Offers Plea Deals
The state makes the offers for many different reasons. One of the reasons that plea deals in fraud cases are so likely is because of the sheer number of cases and the necessity to work the overall majority of them. When it comes to fraud cases, the likelihood of a plea deal can increase if the state is having a hard time finding all of the documentation and being able to get everything that they need to convict the defendant. That is true for a lot of cases of the state, because it is important to remember that the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt every single element of the crime.
If fraud has three different elements, two of them must be proven. If the state has evidence to prove parts one and two, but does not have enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt element three, they are going to lose at trial. They are in a position where they are going to want to potentially plea bargain it rather than completely loose the case. If the court can negotiate a plea and get an individual on probation or the victim the restitution that they need, they will consider a plea offer rather than try the case and lose it. Fraud cases require an intense paperwork trail and a lot of physical evidence in the way of records that the state has to pull from many different sources.
Speaking to an Attorney
Fraud cases can be difficult to prosecute and just as difficult to defend, which is why a solid defense is your best defense. A fraud lawyer can work to achieve a positive outcome for you. If you have been charged with fraud in Maryland, get in touch with a local fraud attorney who can build your case.