Fraud Lawyer in San Francisco, CA
Our fraud lawyer San Francisco, CA residents recommend should be one of your first calls if you face fraud charges. At The Morales Law Firm, we have defended those in need of legal representation when up against serious charges. Know that if convicted, you stand to face severe penalties, which is a primary reason it’s crucial to take the proper steps following an arrest for fraud. Know that several defense options may assist with mitigating charges or getting them dropped altogether. Our team will work tirelessly to receive the outcomes our clients require during what is sure to be a challenging time.
Fraud is a deliberate act aimed to deceive a person or entity of money or property. Facing charges of such a crime can be severe, warranting assistance from a legal professional. Fraud can take on a variety of forms, including:
- Writing bad checks
- Infringement of intellectual property
- Ponzi schemes
- Insurance fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Insider trading
- Identify theft
When someone gains money or property through misrepresentation, the consequences might include:
- Prison sentence
- Permanent criminal record
- Difficulty obtaining employment
- Legal fees
- Social stigma
Such steep consequences call for the assistance of our San Francisco, California fraud lawyer. While penalties vary depending upon the crime, having a professional who can help put your best foot forward will be critical to a favorable outcome. Your defense lawyer knows all about the California fraud laws and will be able to see if there is either a loophole that the prosecution is missing or if you are being unfairly blamed for a fraud charge.
Following an Arrest
If you have been arrested, there are two things to keep in mind: you have a right to remain silent and a right to have a lawyer present during questioning. An arrest is severe and likely means that law enforcement believes you have committed a crime. While you may want to plead your innocence, it’s crucial that you not argue and immediately exercise your Miranda Rights. Meaning, do not answer any questions posed by law enforcement and ask to speak with your lawyer as soon as possible. Know that speaking to police without a lawyer present can potentially damage your case as you may inadvertently incriminate yourself or make matters worse. Asking for a lawyer doesn’t mean that you are guilty; it simply provides the opportunity to have your rights protected from the very start. Whether you are guilty or innocent of the charges, you need to speak with a lawyer before talking to anyone else. He or she will advocate on your behalf and help you answer all of the questions you are asked in a way that will not harm your case. This is a right that every American citizen has and you need to use it. Sometimes people will try to entrap you or make you appear guilty for their own benefit. This is why you need someone who is undoubtedly on your side and looking out for you who you can trust to give you the best information.
Possible Defense Options
There are defense options available for prospective clients who have been charged with fraud. Know that while it may be tempting to manage your case without a lawyer, our experience can ensure that your defense is properly strategized. Possible defenses could include:
- Entrapment: If you were forced or compelled by another and felt as though you had no choice, your attorney can work to provide evidence that proves you were forced to commit a crime that you would not otherwise have committed.
- Intent: Prosecution will work to prove that you had the intent to conduct fraud against the victims. They will work to provide evidence that proves you willfully engaged in this criminal activity. Our team will work to prove that you did not have the intention of committing fraud.
- Lack of evidence: When a case has been brought against a defendant, they must be able to present evidence that proves you are guilty of fraud. Our team will prove that there is not enough evidence available to convict the defendant of a crime.
Your fraud lawyer in San Francisco, California will know what defense best applies to your case and which will give you the greatest chance for freedom after the trial. You can go over various options and possible outcomes with your lawyer. Since he or she is experienced in the field, your lawyer will be able to give insight on what has — and what has not — worked well in court. This can be the person you can trust to always have your best interest at heart and give you honest and realistic advice.
4 Important Questions To Ask Your Fraud Lawyer
California is one of the largest and most influential states in the USA. Another area California shines in, unfortunately, is fraud crimes. Whether someone has been a victim or someone has been accused of committing fraud, it’s probably time for them to consider hiring a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA. There are many reasons one might need the assistance of a fraud-specific attorney like one from The Morales Law Firm. Here are a few questions that might be worth asking during the first consultation with that new fraud counselor.
1. What If I Received a Notice – Can You Defend Me?
If a person has received a court summons, a subpoena, a phone call from a detective, or any other sort of correspondence from an entity asking questions, that person is allowed to be assisted by a competent attorney before answering anything – even if they have not been charged or arrested. Hiring a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA, is not an admission of guilt.
2. What If I Want To Sue Someone – Can You Help Me?
If a person believes they have been the victim of a fraud crime, that person should probably speak with an attorney like one from The Morales Law Firm. An attorney who is skilled in the area of fraud crimes in a particular area is far more likely to be able to assist with a favorable outcome. Hopefully, an issue can be resolved outside of court, but having a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA, is especially helpful if things need to head into the courtroom.
3. What Are Your Qualifications?
One shouldn’t be afraid to ask their counselor about the education they received and how long the attorney has been practicing law. Depending on the work required of the attorney, a person can make a decision about whether they want to hire a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA, or try a different route.
4. What Do I Need To Bring To The Table?
The best thing one can do to help their lawyer is communicate effectively and efficiently. Diagrams and timelines are especially helpful tools that are easy to create. Also, a narrative of the event or issue that occurred to accompany the timeline can help cut through the confusion and get everyone on the same page quickly. Even the best attorney can’t help someone who isn’t communicating their issue clearly or quickly enough.
Facing Fraud Charges: Know the Facts
Fraud is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of financial crimes, ranging from writing bad checks to full-blown securities fraud. Because of the importance of money in our society, penalties for fraud are severe. If you find yourself facing such charges, you need to consult with a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA right away. Attorneys at the Morales Law Firm have extensive experience in the area of fraud and may be able to help get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Even if you have already been convicted, a skilled fraud attorney can argue for a reduced sentence, or possibly get the record expunged after you have served for sentence.
What Happens After I Am Charged?
A charge of fraud is like any other criminal charge; it means that authorities have reason to believe you have committed a crime and require you to answer the charges in a court of law. While any citizen can file a complaint against you (such as a defrauded investor), only a duly-elected prosecutor can file the actual charges. As government officials (whether local, state or federal), prosecutors act on behalf of the people who elect them. If charges are filed, it means the prosecutor has strong evidence against you. This is why having a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA is good to have in your corner: such a legal professional will know the best way for you to respond to the charges.
There are three ways in which suspects can answer fraud charges:
- Plead guilty and throw themselves on the mercy of the court (nolo contendre)
- Plead not guilty and let the case go to trial
- Attempt to reach a plea bargain
The third option may be best if the prosecution has strong evidence against you. By sparing the state the time and cost of a trial, the judge may be more inclined to reduce your sentence.
What Rights Do I Have?
Whether you are guilty or not, the Constitution of the United States gives you the right to not incriminate yourself. In fact, you should not say anything when you are arrested until you have met with a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA. You also have the right to a fair and speedy trial before a judge and a jury of your fellow citizens. Remember that in our system of jurisprudence, you are still innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Your lawyer’s job is to refute the evidence against you in every legal and ethical manner possible. He or she may also attempt to demonstrate entrapment, or convince the jury that there was no deliberate criminal intent on your part.
If you are guilty of fraud, you don’t have to confess to the court — but it is vital that you be forthcoming with your counsel and withhold nothing. Lying about your involvement in the crime will only hurt your case and embarrass your attorney. Call the Morales Law Firm today if you have questions.
Finding the Best Defense Lawyer for Your Fraud Case
There are different types of attorneys who try different types of cases. If you are charged with fraud, you will want to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience handling this specific charge. How do you go about doing that effectively? There are a few things you should consider:
Local or Out of Town?
When you hire a lawyer to represent you in a criminal case, it is often beneficial to hire someone local to the courthouse where the case is pending. State laws are typically quite similar, but they can vary from one county to another. A criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in the way a particular county handles cases like yours could be more beneficial in your situation. Oftentimes, a local attorney will know how different police officers and other officials handle situations, so they can “play your cards” more effectively than others can. Another reason to hire a local attorney is so that you don’t have to pay for travel costs.
Experienced, Specializing, Green?
It’s possible that an attorney will have a significant amount of experience in criminal defense matters, but no experience with fraud cases specifically. White collar cases are distinct from other kinds of criminal offenses and they tend to be highly-technical in nature. It is therefore important that you work with a lawyer who is well-versed in this particular area of the law.
You need to feel confident in your representation, as the individual representing you could “make or break” the outcome of your case. As a result, you’ll want to connect with someone who is well-educated, has significant experience in white collar offenses, and who has a demeanor that speaks to your needs. Obviously, you don’t want someone who is cold and removed from your plight, but you also don’t want someone so chipper, upbeat, and optimistic that they seem to be selling you a bill of goods that they have no power to promise. Work with someone who is determined to build the best possible case on your behalf but who also refuses to make promises that no attorney has the power to keep.
How do past clients feel about a prospective attorney’s approach to representation? What is any given attorney’s track record when it comes to white collar cases specifically? Did the attorney just graduate or have they been representing individual clients for years? When it comes to criminal defense representation, reputation matters. The representation of the San Francisco fraud lawyer team at the Morales Law Firm speaks for itself.
Why Is It Important to Have a Lawyer on Your Side?
You always need to have a fraud lawyer on your side when dealing with a fraud charge. You cannot go through this alone — you need someone who knows the California laws surrounding fraud charges and will know a good defense strategy to use. Fraud charges are very serious and should never be taken lightly. You need to have an advocate who will speak on your behalf and know what the best route to take will be in order to get the outcome you need in your case. Whether the fraud committed was unintentional or a misunderstanding, or it was something that appears to be more sinister, a lawyer will have your best interest at heart and know how to deal with this charge. He or she will gather evidence that will work in your favor and hire any necessary expert witnesses or a team of investigators to assist on your behalf. Fraud cases can become expensive, but they are often much more costly if you end up losing. You may even end up losing some of your freedom if you lose a case, as some come along with extensive jail time.
We Work Tirelessly to Get Results for Our Clients
Do not wait until it’s too late to seek help for fraud charges; take immediate action by contacting The Morales Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to our firm, the best opportunity you have to receive an outcome in your favor. Do not delay in reaching out to our experienced San Francisco, California fraud lawyer to get started. You do not want to say anything incriminating or put yourself in a difficult situation that is harder to get out of. The faster you contact an attorney, the more quickly you will have a valuable advocate on your side.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for a Fraud Charge
If you’ve been accused of fraud, it is important to have a skilled fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA on your side. It’s a serious charge and you don’t want to go through it alone. Here are a few reasons why you should hire a lawyer:
- A fraud conviction carries serious consequences. Just because fraud is considered a white collar crime, does not mean that the penalties are not harsh. Penalties can range from heavy fines to incarceration. It can also result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect your ability to secure employment in the future. Because the stakes are so high, it is critical to hire an experienced lawyer. He or she can work to reduce your charges.
- A lawyer has knowledge of the law. The laws surrounding fraud are quite complex, so the average person doesn’t understand them too well. That is another reason why it is important to work with a reputable lawyer. He or she will have extensive knowledge of the law, which can help him or her come up with the proper defense for you.
- A lawyer can help you save money. It costs money to hire a skilled fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA to defend a fraud charge, so the idea of one helping you save money might not make much sense. However, you have to understand how much a fraud conviction can cost you in the future, such as the loss of your job or professional license. Even if you do not get terminated from your job, spending time in jail can cause financial distress. If you hire an experienced lawyer, you have a better chance of avoiding this.
- A lawyer will inform you of the possible outcomes. A reputable fraud lawyer won’t just tell you what you want to hear. He or she will make you aware of all the possible outcomes in your case so that there are no surprises.
- A lawyer can provide support. Dealing with a fraud charge can be very stressful. You may worry about spending time in jail or how your future job prospects will be impacted. It helps to have a supportive fraud lawyer on your side. He or she will work hard to provide you with a good defense and address all of your questions and concerns.
Forgery and Fraud
Forgery is a common fraudulent practice, and if you’ve been accused of forgery you could be in for a serious legal battle – all the more reason to contact a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, California. Before you begin to panic, you should understand the intricacies of a fraud conviction, including any potential punishments and how the right lawyer can help you build an effective defense.
What Counts as Forgery?
At its most basic definition, forgery is when an individual creates or alters documents for fraudulent purposes. While not all fraud is forgery, all forgery is a type of fraud, and can be used to make a fraudulent scheme appear more legitimate. Forgery also includes the use of these forged documents: While originally forgery only applied to the act creating or altering, the term has become an umbrella for both the creation and use of fraudulent documents.
When people talk about forged documents, there are many examples that qualify. People oftentimes think of forged checks, but there are many instances of business licenses being forged for fraudulent purposes, as well as personal records and credit reports. Fortunately, a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA can help you if you’ve been accused of forging documents like these.
What Kind of Punishment Is Typical for Forgery?
Forgery counts as a felony in all 50 states, so you’ll most likely be facing a pretty hefty sentence. Don’t let the possibility overwhelm you – you’re getting in touch with a fraud lawyer for a good reason, and with the right legal team at your back you can reduce your sentence, or even beat your charges altogether.
The exact punishment usually depends on the state in which you’ve been convicted of forgery. In some states, all you’ll get is probation. Other states are harsher, which means prison terms and huge sums of money in fines and fees. It’s important to remember that in some cases, the punishment for forgery depends on the amount of money that’s been defrauded from a victim.
It’s not a solid idea to just assume you’ll get off with a slap on the wrist. A fraud lawyer can help you get a better picture of the kind of trouble you could be in should you be convicted of forgery, but they can also prove a valuable resource for when you decide to fight your charges and clear your name.
Important Qualities to Look for in a Fraud Lawyer
If you’re facing fraud charges, it’s important to work with a qualified fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA. However, you might not know how to choose the right lawyer. Here are a few important qualities to look for in a fraud lawyer.
- Experience – First and foremost, a fraud lawyer needs to have the proper experience. Just like you wouldn’t hire a heating contractor to do plumbing work, you wouldn’t hire a tax or estate lawyer to handle your fraud case. To improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your case, it’s wise to hire a criminal lawyer who has specialized experience in handling fraud charges. He or she will have knowledge of fraud laws and help you come up with the best defense.
- Excellent research skills – A skilled fraud lawyer doesn’t just walk into a courtroom and start talking. There’s a lot of research that goes into defending a fraud charge. Therefore, the lawyer you select should possess excellent research skills. He or she should take the time to research the evidence against you and what the best defense would be.
- Communicative – The fraud lawyer you work with should also have great communication skills. He or she should be able to explain legal terminology into words you can understand and carefully listen to what you have to say. Your lawyer should also know how to communicate effectively with judges and prosecutors.
- Compassionate – Being charged with fraud can be a frightening ordeal. That’s why it’s important to have a compassionate lawyer on your side. He or she should understand that this is causing you a great deal of stress and offer words of encouragement.
- Creative – At first, you might not associate creativity with a fraud lawyer. However, being creative can actually be quite helpful in your case. If a roadblock appears in your case suddenly, you’ll want to work with a lawyer who can come up with creative solutions.
- Honest – It’s important to work with a fraud lawyer who is always completely honest. He or she shouldn’t just tell you what you want to hear. For example, if there is a lot of evidence stacked against you, your lawyer shouldn’t tell you that you will go to trial and win. He or she should be honest about the severity of your situation.
Reach Out to the Morales Law Firm
A forgery conviction has a lot of moving parts. The prosecution has to prove that you made use or created the falsified documents, and they also have to prove that you had intent to commit fraud using the forged paperwork. The forged documents need to have some sort of legal significance, and they have to be provably false in the first place. If you’re able to disprove any of these elements, you could potentially clear your name – and with the help of a fraud lawyer from The Morales Law Firm, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.
A forgery conviction has serious weight to it, so you shouldn’t roll over and accept the charges without a fight. Get in touch with the Morales Law Firm today, and see how a fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA can help you save your future.
“I have had the pleasure of working alongside Mr. Morales. He is an excellent attorney who is well regarded in the legal community for his skill, experience, and zealous advocacy.”