Fraus is a serious crime in Indiana, and the penalties are harsh. However, mistakes and misunderstandings lead to fraud charges all of the time. Remember, an accusation is not a conviction, and there ways to help your case. Most require working with an experienced Indianapolis defense attorney.
The strongest defense in a fraud case depends on the circumstances. A defense that works well for one person may not help yours. There could also be multiple options for you and your attorney to consider. Whether your strategy relies on one strong explanation or multiple reasons why you should not be convicted, each defense is there to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s argument and evidence.
Possible Defenses to Fraud Charges
1. Mistake of Identity
Some fraud charges arise because a person’s money, property, or identity were stolen. However, that does not mean the victim had face-to-face contact with the suspect. With the rise of e-commerce, banking, and social media, it is common for fraud to take place over the Internet.
A hasty investigation may have mistakenly led the police to you. If you are charged with a crime that you had nothing to do with, your attorney will seek to prove you have an alibi for the crime.
Accusations of fraud often come up because of mistakes and misunderstandings. Another person or business might think you were trying to take advantage. But the truth is that you were simply wrong or lacked important information at the time.
If your current situation comes down to a misunderstanding, an attorney can help clear things up and work to get the charges dropped. If this is not an option, your lawyer can explain the circumstances in court.
3. Lack of Intent
For you to have committed fraud, you must have had the intent to do so. There must be evidence that you intentionally and willfully defrauded a person or business to obtain money, property, or services. Fraud, whether it is intentional or unintentional credit card fraud, identity theft, or another fraud-related offense can’t happen by accident.
If got mixed up in something you did not mean to, and never had the intention to defraud someone, then this can be part of your defense. Without proof of intent beyond a reasonable doubt, there is not enough evidence to convict you.
4. Insufficient Evidence
Sometimes your attorney will not recommend a defense that is entirely based on your innocence but will rather focus on the prosecutor’s case – or lack thereof. To be convicted, the prosecutor must provide evidence that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions meet each element of the fraud.
If the prosecutor does not have enough evidence, your attorney may point out the weaknesses in the case. When it is clear that is not enough proof, your attorney can pursue having the case dismissed.
You could not have committed a fraud-related crime if the alleged victim consented to your actions. If you have evidence that the alleged victim, whether it was a person or business, gave you permission to do whatever you are accused of, then this is a crucial defense to the charges. While your actions may have been ill-advised, if you had consent, they were not a crime.
Contact an Indianapolis Fraud Lawyer for Help
If you have been accused of a fraud-related crime in Indiana, your best chance of beating the charge is to work with a proven criminal defense attorney like Sean Hessler. Attorney Hessler years of experience defending against a wide range of misdemeanor and felony fraud charges, and a history of helping people sucessfuly defend themseves. We will review your situation, gather evidence, and build the strongest defense possible.