Fraud is a serious offense in New York. Depending on the severity of the fraud charge in question, a conviction can not only earn you prison time but a ruined reputation as well. But mistakes happen, and it is not uncommon for a misunderstanding to result in a false fraud charge. However, it helps to note that an accusation is not a conviction, and there are ways to defend yourself and get out of trouble.
To effectively defend yourself against fraud charges, however, you need to start off by understanding how you got into trouble in the first place. Here are two defense options you can consider when charged with fraud in New York:
Fraud claims can arise when someone’s money, identity or property is stolen. However, this does not mean that the plaintiff was in direct contact with the suspect. The rise of e-commerce and social media has also seen a rise in online fraud.
A rushed investigation can easily lead to a false arrest and charge. If you are charged with a fraud that you had nothing to do with, you may argue mistaken identity as your defense. And one of the best strategies you can use is presenting an alibi.
Lack of intent
To commit a crime, you generally must have the intention to do so. In other words, there has to be clear evidence that you deliberately and wilfully defrauded the defendant to obtain the money or service in question. From intentional identity theft to unintentional credit card fraud, fraudulent activities are rarely accidental.
If you get caught up in something you never intended to do, and never intended to defraud the alleged victim, then you can cite lack of intent as your defense. Without proof of intent, the prosecution may not have a compelling case against you.
Protect your rights
In life, you are only as good as your name. Besides the legal consequences, being charged with a crime can greatly hurt your personal and professional relationships. If you are falsely charged with a fraud-related crime in New York, your best chance of beating the charge lies in exploring your legal rights and options.