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Defense Against Fraud Charges in Waukesha

 Posted on December 27, 2023 in Fraud

Waukesha County criminal defense lawyerDeception to cause harm, or fraud, is a serious criminal offense in Wisconsin that could land a defendant behind bars. Fraud comes in many forms, and to help protect you from the fallout of the charges will require a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer. You will do well to understand what fraud is, in a legal sense, and how best to defend yourself from any fraud-related charges.

How Fraud is Committed

An act of fraud, for it to be considered fraud, will require:

  • The accused knowingly misrepresenting a material fact to deceive
  • The accuser acting on the false statement they believe to be true and suffering harm or loss as the result

There are two primary categories of fraud, which include:

  • Personal fraud
  • Business fraud

Personal fraud includes identity theft, credit card and debit card fraud, writing fake checks, and Ponzi schemes. Business fraud consists of payroll fraud, bribery, corruption, misappropriation using assets, and worker’s compensation fraud. This list is not exhaustive but represents how varied fraud can be.

What To Do When Under Investigation or Facing Charges of Fraud

The first and most obvious course of action is obtaining experienced legal representation and counsel. An attorney can provide invaluable advice and knowledge on how best to move forward with your case while providing a solid defense.

Next, you will want to remain silent until you can speak with your attorney, which means keeping a tight lid on things when questioned by police officers. This will help you avoid saying anything incriminating that the police and the prosecution can use against you in a trial. The whole point of an interrogation is gathering as much evidence against you as possible. The police are not your friends and ultimately do not have your best interest in mind.

When you feel you may be under suspicion of fraud, as in not yet charged, it is important to refuse law enforcement when asked to enter your property. You have the right to do so unless first served a warrant. Highly trained and seasoned officers are very good at overwhelming the emotions of possible suspects to get more out of them. Do not fall into the trap of providing them with exactly what they need.

Commonly Used Fraud Defenses

Because fraud charges are very strict in their criteria, they present the defense with various tactics that can be used against allegations of fraud. A few of the more commonly used defenses include:

  • Statements made that are non-fraudulent - An action on the plaintiff’s behalf must follow a false statement, or else it cannot be considered fraud. In other words, simply stating a lie does not constitute fraud.
  • The absence of intent to deceive - There can be no fraud when the defendant is not knowingly committing a deception. The prosecution must prove the deception was there and that the accused is the one who committed it.
  • Consent to perform - The defendant may have been given permission or assumed they had authorization to perform the action they were accused of. For example, signing a check with someone else’s signature.
  • Insufficient evidence - It is up to the prosecution to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that all actions taken by the defendant for which they are accused are considered fraudulent. A solid defense can find a few gaps in a prosecutor’s case that could prove a lack of evidence.
  • Entrapment - When police or other government entities coerce or compel a defendant to commit a crime they would not have otherwise. There must be encouragement to commit the crime, not just the opportunity for entrapment to be used as a defense.

Contact a Waukesha County, WI Criminal Defense Attorney

With over 40 years of combined experience in criminal law, the Waukesha, WI fraud defense lawyers of Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP are more than capable of handling your case. Contact the firm at 262-232-6699 for a free consultation when you need a solid defense and exceptional legal counsel.

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