The term “fraud” can cover a wide range of crimes, including embezzlement, identity fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, internet fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and bank fraud.
Like theft, the Crown divides fraud into two types: over $5000 or under $5000. Fraud is essentially a kind of theft, one that relies on deceit or trickery to gain control of goods or assets that the fraudulent party has no right to.
The criminal defence lawyers at Merchant Law can help you defend against fraud charges. These charges are extremely serious and have the potential to change your life for the worse. It’s our job to mount a vigorous defence that can help mitigate or eliminate the consequences.
Fraud Under $5000
Fraud under $5000 is punishable by up to 6 months of jail time and a fine of up to $2000. The judge may also order you to pay restitution, including court charges. While these sentences may seem light it’s important to realize that a fraud charge on your criminal record can make it very hard to secure housing and employment in your future, as well as impacting your ability to travel outside of the country.
There is some room to mitigate this. After a certain period of time, after a charge of fraud under $5000, you may qualify for a record suspension which would remove all records of your arrest and conviction from public records. This is something the lawyers at Merchant Law can help with.
Take the charge seriously and defend it as vigorously as you’d defend against a charge of fraud over $5000.
Fraud Over $5000
This class of fraud is punishable by up to 14 yars in prison. The court may also order you to pay restitution.
Conditional sentencing may be available. This would keep you out of prison but would mean having to meet certain requirements. This option is one you and your lawyer may be able to explore as you attempt to mitigate the consequences of your charges.
Fraud Over $1,000,000
Fraud over a million dollars carries a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 14 years.
These are often far more complicated cases because the schemes that would be required to defraud someone of over a million dollars are usually complicated as well.
Unfortunately it’s easy for innocents to get caught in the middle of fraud charges. For example, if you are working for an employer who is engaged in fraud you can get charged too, even if you didn’t actively participate in the fraud or know about it.
How Merchant Law Can Help
Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to get your charges dropped or dismissed. We may also be able to make a case for actual innocence.
Our team is experienced, with a decades-long track record of helping people with their criminal charges. We’re responsive, tough, and ready to fight for you. Are you in trouble? Call us today to schedule a free consultation.