In the context of South Carolina criminal law, fraud can take various forms and result in various consequences for different parties involved. The consequences of a fraud conviction are very serious, as they often include substantial monetary fines, lengthy prison times, and public shame.
If you are facing accusations that you deliberately defrauded another person or organization, retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney could be essential to preserving your freedom. A Greenville fraud lawyer could work diligently throughout every stage of your case to advocate for your rights, protect your best interests, and pursue a positive final resolution with a minimum impact on your future.
The Core Elements of a Fraud Offense
The specific definition of a fraud offense depends on the parties involved, the amount of money or property of value allegedly taken, and the type of fraud allegedly committed. Fighting charges for Breach of Trust under South Carolina Code of Laws §16-13-230 requires a unique strategy and may lead to very different consequences than charges for fraudulently altering or tampering with an electric or gas meter under S.C. Code §16-13-385.
With just about every type of fraud offense, though, prosecutors must prove the accused had the intent to cheat or defraud another person. However, some fraud charges allow an inference that funds were fraudulently received. For instance, Embezzlement, as defined in SC Code of Laws 16-13-210 and 220, states that if the prosecution can provide evidence a person received public funds, and failed to account for the funds as required by law, it is permissible to infer the funds have been fraudulently appropriated.
In light of that, many successful fraud defense strategies revolve around contesting that the defendant did not intentionally commit fraud or that their actions do not meet the state’s definition of fraud. A knowledgeable Greenville attorney could discuss more specific options for a particular fraud case during a private initial consultation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Fight Fraud Allegations?
Fraud cases are generally paper-heavy proceedings that center around thousands of pages of documentary evidence. Accordingly, the most crucial role that legal representation often plays for individuals accused of fraud is helping them make sense of the case against them, collecting exculpatory evidence, and presenting it effectively both in and out of court.
Support from a seasoned fraud attorney in Greenville can also be crucial when it comes to minimizing the impact that criminal sanctions related to a fraud case have on a defendant’s future. Depending on the circumstances, a dedicated attorney could take the lead in establishing the precise value of money or property involved in a specific offense, advocating against overly harsh sentences, and potentially even negotiating for a plea bargain.
Speak with a Greenville Fraud Attorney About Legal Options
South Carolina law enforcement takes fraud of any kind extremely seriously. If you are under investigation, or already facing charges for fraud, seeking help from a capable defense attorney should be your top priority.
A skilled Greenville fraud lawyer could work on your behalf from start to finish of the proceedings against you. As a former prosecutor turned defense attorney, Christopher L. Jones knows what to expect in the courtroom, and could use this experience to build a strong defense on your behalf. Call today to discuss your case with a committed legal professional.