If you are being accused of committing a crime that involves fraud in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you are likely facing some serious and life altering penalties. If you are truly innocent of the crime, then you may not fully understand what you’re being accused of. If you have committed a crime, then it is still likely that you don’t fully understand the consequences of your actions. To begin with, you need to know that fraud refers to any theft that is accomplished by deceiving others or misrepresenting a situation in such a way that another suffers a loss to your benefit. Yet, there are many different, more specific crimes that fall into this category of criminal activity, and your crime could be a state issue or a federal issue. If the federal government gets involved, then your situation quickly becomes much more dire, as the consequences can be far more severe at the federal level than the state level. In any event, you need to understand your position, get the appropriate legal advice and representation, and know what to expect.
How the Prosecutor Will Attempt to Prove That You Are Guilty of Fraud
When you arebeing charged with a fraud crime, you will be presumed innocent until proven guilty, though you may not feel that this is the case. The prosecution will, however, bear the burden of proving that you committed the crime. To do so, they will have to prove that you knowingly and intentionally falsified information, misrepresented facts, or directly lied in an effort to receive ill-gotten gains from your victims. Further, those victims must have actually sustained losses because of your fraudulent behavior. Having said that, there are many different kinds of fraud crimes that you could be accused of, and the necessary proofs will vary based on which kind of criminal charges you are facing. The most common fraud crimes include credit card fraud, check fraud, mail fraud, telemarketing scam fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, phishing scam fraud, Ponzi scheme fraud, identity theft, and white collar crimes.
Are You Being Charged with a White Collar Crime?
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If you are facing criminal charges for a white collar crime in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you’ll want to understand exactly what this means and why you are being accused. White collar crimes are nonviolent and typically involve using your profession as a tool to commit fraud. Common examples include bankruptcy fraud, healthcare fraud, banking fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, intellectual property theft, etc.
In many white collar cases, the FBI will get involved and the charges will be made at the federal level. Because white collar crimes are not victimless, despite being non-violent, you could be ordered to pay restitution to victims on top of other penalties. Other penalties include forfeiting assets, prison time, paying fines, and/or being confined to your home or community.
Are You Being Charged with Identity Theft?
Identity theft is another common example of criminal charges involving fraud. If you are facing charges for identity theft in Chattanooga, Tennessee at a federal level, then it may involve such crimes as hacking, criminal impersonation, or using a false ID. All of these crimes involve the use of the personal identifying information of someone else for an unlawful activity without that individual’s consent. If you had the person’s consent, then the unlawful activity can still lead to criminal charges, but the other person may be considered as a co-conspirator, rather than a victim in the given crime. When you are accused of identity theft, the investigation can be scary and overwhelming. The FBI will likely investigate by digging into the details and contents of your computer, your business, and your home. Even if you are innocent, this can be terribly stressful. Whether you are guilty or innocent of the crime, you need legal representation.
Are You Facing Federal Criminal Charges for an Alleged Crime in Chattanooga, Tennessee?
There are many different crimes that can be handled at a state or federal level. When you are facing federal criminal charges, the penalties become greater and the case, more complicated. Common examples of criminal activities that can become a federal matter include cases where drugs have crossed state borders, cases where fraud includes victims from other states, cases that involve federal tax evasion, crimes that are considered to be hate crimes, crimes involving counterfeiting, crimes that involve immigration, crimes that occur on a body of water, and crimes that are committed against government officials.
There is also something known as a Commerce Clause and something called a Supremacy Clause. These are clauses within the US Constitution which ensure that any crime that involves multiple states can be charged as a federal criminal offense, and that the federal government can determine the appropriate penalties and sentencing, bypassing any state laws and regulations that would otherwise apply.
What to Expect from a Criminal Trial for Federal Criminal Charges
One of the biggest differences between charges that you may face at the state level and charges that you may face at the federal level is that the federal criminal trial will take longer. It will take longer to schedule a trial, to investigate the crime, and to pursue justice. The federal government may initiate a prolonged investigation that includes surveillance and undercover agents. If you believe that you are being investigated, you should be very careful about what you do, what you say, and what you throw away. Contact an attorney as quickly as possible to ensure that you get the best possible outcome and/or are able to prove your innocence.
Contact Best, Hayduk & Brock for More Information and a Free Consultation
If you’re facing any kind of criminal charges at the state or federal level in Chattanooga, Tennessee, contact the Best, Hayduk & Brock law firm to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights and options. We’re here for you, and we’ll fight for your best interests every step of the way, no matter how long it takes.