If you are charged with fraud, it means you intentionally deceived a person or entity into acquiring something of value. Usually, cases of fraud involve money. While there are many ways that fraud can occur, it typically involves the person charged trying to mislead or deceive another person or entity through misrepresentation, dishonesty or outright lies.
When facing fraud charges, it’s important to note that the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” The prosecution is tasked with the burden of proof to show you are guilty of the crime. Some of the elements that must be shown to prove a Texas fraud charge can be found here.
What must be proven in fraud cases
With fraud charges, the prosecution must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you are guilty of the charges you face.
To prove fraud, they must show the following:
- You are guilty of purposeful deception.
- You intended to deprive the victim of something.
- There was a loss due to the fraudulent actions.
If you are convicted of fraud in Texas, the penalty depends on the value of the goods or money taken. These include:
- Value of under $100: Class C misdemeanor
- Value of $100 to $750: Class B misdemeanor
- Value of $750 to $2,500: Class A misdemeanor
- Value of $2,500 to $30,000: State jail felony
- Value of $30,000 to $150,000: Felony of the third degree
- Value of $150,000 to $300,000: Felony of the second degree
- Value of over $300,000: Felony of the first degree
The consequences of the charge include fines, jail time, probation and other penalties.
If you are charged with fraud, you have legal rights. Having experienced legal guidance can help you protect them.