Like other criminal charges, a fraud conviction can come with very serious consequences. Punishments might range from fines to jail time and, if you are a professional, it could also mean that you might lose your professional license. Since this kind of criminal conviction can affect almost every aspect of your life, it is important to have a proper defense.
In general, fraud is a term that applies to various dishonest activities. In its most basic form, fraud is an intentionally deceptive act an individual commits in order to achieve a monetary gain at the expense of another.
Criminal fraud vs civil fraud
In most states, including New York, criminal fraud requires that a person has a criminal intent to commit the act and a conviction usually includes fine and imprisonment. Another type of fraud is civil fraud. In theses kinds of cases, an individual usually does not have a criminal intent to commit fraud but instead acts in bad faith. The court typically requires the person who committed civil fraud to make the victim financially whole again.
Fraud can come in various forms. For example, there is tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud and insurance fraud. Mail fraud and credit card fraud are also two common types that might land you in jail.
If you commit fraud, you might face both criminal and civil penalties. This means that for the criminal aspect, the court might convict you for a felony and you may have to pay court fees, fines and spend time in prison. For the civil aspect, you may have to pay additional fines and provide restitution to the person or entity whom you defrauded. The severity of your punishment will depend largely on the scope of the offense.
If you are facing criminal fraud charges, remember that you still have rights and options. With a strong defense, you might be able to successfully fight back against the charges and avoid a conviction.