When someone thinks about criminal law, they often think of sex crimes, murders, and drugs charges. Fraud is often looked over, even though it is a significant criminal offense. Fraud is defined as the intentional deception used for personal gain or to simply damage another individual. It is a crime that almost anyone could be accused of. In Arizona law, fraud can include credit card fraud, commercial fraud, and organized crime. A charge of credit card fraud is one that can affect anyone. With so many people using and losing credit cards, it is relatively easy to become involved with or have the opportunity to become involved with credit card fraud. It does not really require much skill or tools to partake in it, which is why there are so many victims. Credit card fraud is an international problem. The impact of this worldwide problem can be felt even in Gilbert. This type of fraud is not limited to the use of a stolen credit card. It also includes receiving items purchased with a stolen credit card, making or possessing the equipment to make a fake credit card, stealing credit card transaction records, and actually stealing a credit card.
Even though it is common and relatively easy to do, credit card fraud offenses can result in serious penalties. These offenses are considered anywhere from a class 6 felony to a class 2 felony. This means any type of credit card fraud can result in prison time. Even though it may seem like an epidemic worldwide problem, it is still prosecuted locally. Anyone charged with credit card fraud should have good representation. Commercial fraud is limited to businesses, but it can affect a large amount of people. Also known as business fraud, these crimes are attractive to business owners eager to make more money. Sometimes competitive practices are mistaken as commercial fraud. It takes a knowledgeable lawyer to be able to draw the distinction between the two.
Commercial fraud includes deceptive business practices, false advertisement and defrauding creditors. Deceptive business practices include falsely recording quantity or quality, selling an item that has falsely recorded quantity or quality and selling mislabeled goods. False advertisement involves misleading statements in the promotion of the sale of goods and services. Defrauding creditors includes both secured creditors and those with judgments. For the most part, commercial fraud convictions are misdemeanors that have high fines and the possibility of jail time. Defrauding creditors however, is a class six felony that often includes prison time. Arizona law also has dedicated statutes for organized crime. Organized crime is an umbrella of offenses that often includes more than just fraud.
Organized crime can include bribery, terrorism, trafficking of stolen property and racketeering. One type of fraud charge that is related to organized crime is called fraudulent schemes. This is a very serious fraud charge that does not have a very clear definition. Charges can either be a class 5 felony or a class 2 felony. Class 2 felony convictions can serve up to 35 years in prison. Because of the complexities and seriousness of a charge of this nature, it is very important to have legal representation. If you have been charged with fraud it can often become your word against the State’s. Unlike other criminal charges, there may not be a clear action proving guilt or innocence. Our office is familiar with how fraud charges work and are prepared to represent all fraud cases in the Maricopa County area, including Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, and Phoenix. You do not have to fight your fraud charge alone. Call our office today!