Fraud, and the many types of crimes woven around it, can make for a fascinating story in a movie or a novel. It’s a category of crime involving people and deception. But here in the real world, where I practice criminal defense law, the subject of fraud is a very serious, often life-changing one.
You may only be familiar with the definition of fraud in terms of something being false, or fake. In criminal law terms, fraud can take many forms. I want to discuss these types of criminal charges, and their penalties here in Arizona. Here is a brief breakdown:
Credit card theft is a Class 5 felony, and even a first offense includes jail time.
Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card can be misdemeanor or felony, depending on whether you are using the card or receiving anything purchased with an illegally obtained card. Jail or prison time is mandatory.
Forgery is a Class 4 felony. Making, altering, or possessing a forged document, or trying to pass one off as legal or genuine, carries a prison sentence even for first-time offenders.
Obtaining a Signature by Deception: Obtaining someone’s signature with intent to defraud, or misrepresenting any information to obtain it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but carries penalties of prison time and fines.
Identity Theft, a Class 4 felony, is so prevalent in Arizona that it is treated very seriously in legal channels. The penalties for stealing/using another person’s identity include prison time plus additional charges for any fraud/forgery crimes committed using another person’s name.
Criminal Impersonation can refer to persons using false identification to obtain employment, and can be charged as a Class 6 felony or a Class 1 misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. In any case, jail/prison time is incurred.
I believe that only in books and movies should you ever see someone facing fraud charges defending themselves in a court of law. It may make for interesting drama, but it may not be the best choice you can make. Call Zachary Law Group for a FREE 30-minute case evaluation. Our experienced attorneys will go to work asserting and protecting your legal rights in court. When we “Zach-It!” you’ll know we are working toward the best possible resolution to your case. Contact us today at 1-855-Zach-law.