If you have been looking for a criminal defense attorney because you’ve been accused of fraud, such as identity theft or forgery, Patterson Weaver Law, LLC should be the first place you call. We have years of experience in defending fraud cases, both misdemeanors and felonies, in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, and surrounding areas. We will work with you to respond the allegations, identify the legal issues at play, and help to minimize the penalties and other consequences that accompany such a criminal charge. Our goal is to put the case behind you as quickly as possible, with the least amount of damage to your life and career. Reach out to Patterson Weaver Law, LLC today via our convenient online form or by calling 719-264-9858 for a free consultation on how we can assist you.
What Is Fraud?
In Colorado, fraud encompasses a vast array of issues, some of which may be familiar, such as forgery, impersonation, and identity theft, but also areas which may not immediately come to mind, such as deceptive sales and business practices, fraud in obtaining property or services, and bribery. All of these offenses are set forth in Colorado Revised Statutes in sections 18-5-101 through 18-5-905.
Fraud can be committed by words or by conduct, by making false or misleading allegations, or by concealing something that should have been disclosed. Fraud often involves inducing someone to act on these falsehoods in a way that results in injury or damages. Larger fraud cases often tied to business dealings or ventures are commonly considered white collar crimes. Whether the allegations involve a few hundred dollars or a few hundred thousand dollars, fraud charges can have serious consequences to one’s liberty, future, and livelihood.
Common Types of Fraud Charges
Fraud is an umbrella term that can refer to a number of specific statutes in Colorado. The charges below are some of the specific offenses that can be considered fraud.
Forgery – CRS 18-5-102
In Colorado, a person commits forgery if, with the intent to defraud, the person makes or alters a written instrument which they then present as authentic. These can include money, stamps, stocks or bonds, deed, will, contract or promissory note. Forgery is a class 5 felony, punishable by between one and five years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Criminal Impersonation – CRS 18-5-113
A person commits criminal impersonation if he or she knowingly assumes a false or fictitious identity, and in using that identity, performs an act that would either unlawfully gain them a benefit, or subject the person being impersonated to civil or criminal liability. Criminal impersonation is a class 6 felony, punishable by between one year and 18 months in jail and a fine up to $100,000.
Fraud by Check – CRS 18-5-205
Check fraud is the act of writing a check when you know there are insufficient funds in your account to cover the amount of the check. This can include a payroll check to an employee, a rent check, or a check to pay for goods or services.
Knowledge of insufficient funds and intent to defraud are the key terms here. This type of fraud doesn’t include accidentally “bouncing” a check due to insufficient funds or writing a post-dated check. Often, bad check writing is part of a larger scheme and is performed on a regular basis. Whether check fraud is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony is based on the amount of the check. Typically, a check over $2,000 falls in the felony category, while anything below that amount is considered a misdemeanor. Check fraud is the most common kind of fraud charged in the state of Colorado.
Insurance Fraud – CRS 18-5-211
A person commits insurance fraud if they do any of the following: make an application for insurance that withholds material information or includes false information; make a claim on an insurance policy while withholding or presenting false information; or claim to be involved in an accident with the intent to defraud. Depending upon the nature of the act, insurance fraud can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Bait and Switch Advertising – CRS 18-5-303
A person commits bait advertising if they offer property or services as part of a scheme or plan to not provide the property or services at all, or not at at the prices advertised. Bait advertising is a class 2 misdemeanor.
Is Fraud a Federal or a State Crime?
You may be wondering if fraud or forgery is a federal or state crime. The answer is: It depends. There are some types of fraud that are always considered a federal crime because of their nature involving government entities or multiple states, such as bank fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and Medicaid/Medicare fraud.
You can also be charged with fraud or forgery as both a state and a federal crime. The seriousness of many fraud charges makes it imperative that you contact a seasoned fraud lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and get the legal protection you deserve.
Fraud Attorneys with Years of Experience
Patterson Weaver Law, LLC is staffed with Colorado attorneys with years of experience litigating fraud and forgery cases. You won’t find a better fraud lawyer when it comes to fighting for your rights and trying to mitigate the effects of your case on the rest of your life.
Managing Attorney Patterson Weaver is a former prosecutor with a track record of court wins as a defense attorney. The firm’s case results include outstanding settlements, dismissals, deferred sentencing, acquittals, probation, and sealed cases to protect the reputations of the clients involved.
Protect your rights and give yourself the best chance of success possible. Call our team (719) 264-9858 at Patterson Weaver Law, LLC today and let us fight for your rights, liberty, and future. Life happens. Let us help.