When you’re facing the risk of being charged with fraud, your mind will likely begin to race with questions. Are you going to jail? What type of evidence will be used against you? How serious could the charges against you be? When facing a possible criminal charge, knowledge is power. As an experienced San Francisco, CA fraud lawyer – including those who practice at The Morales Law Firm – can confirm, many people at-risk of being charged with white collar crimes shy away from seeking legal guidance because they are worried about how doing so will make them look. Legal consultations are confidential – so, don’t sit around worrying about what “may be.” Seek confidential legal guidance about your fraud situation so that you’ll understand what you can expect from your circumstances in the event that you’re charged. Being proactive about protecting your rights may be critical to safeguarding your future.
If your criminal charge is classified as an infraction, you’ll probably end up paying a fine, but you likely won’t go to jail. Infractions include minor offenses like speeding or running a stop sign, so this classification isn’t generally available for any conduct related to fraud. However, every circumstance is different, so it’s important not to make assumptions about your case until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
If your criminal charge is a misdemeanor, it could result in a fine, and punishments often include community service, probation, restitution, or jail time as well. Misdemeanors are classified as such because any term of incarceration linked to the charge cannot exceed one year.
If your criminal charge is classified as a felony, you are being charged with the most serious type of offense available. Some misdemeanors become felonies if it is a second or third offense and some kinds of federal fraud crimes are considered to be felonies even if the defendant has never previously been convicted of criminal wrongdoing. Many felonies result in prison time and the same types of evidence used for a misdemeanor conviction could be used for a felony case.
If your criminal charge is a wobbler, it means it could be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. While it is always important to retain experienced legal counsel in the event that you are charged with criminal misconduct, it is perhaps most especially important to retain experienced counsel if you’re being charged with a felony or a wobbler. Excellent counsel can help to ensure that a wobbler case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, when possible.