Common Defenses Against Fraud Accusations
Fraud charges can carry severe punishments, but there are a variety of defense methods available to those who face allegations of fraud.
Here are some of the most common defenses against fraud accusations:
- Insufficient evidence of fraud. As in most criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the accuser. Remember: the jury must be able to find you guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. A conviction cannot be handed down if there is insufficient evidence.
- Lack of intent. One of the stipulations of a crime being classified as fraud is that there must be a demonstrated intent by the accused person to commit a crime. Fraud by its very nature is a form of deception, so the prosecution must be able to prove that the accused party intended to deceive the alleged victim.
- Entrapment. If the government or law enforcement coerces a person to commit a crime that he or she would otherwise not commit, this is considered entrapment. Any crime that takes place as a result of entrapment will not hold up in court for a conviction. However, law enforcement officials may provide an opportunity for a person to commit a crime, which can complicate matters in the case. A skilled criminal defense attorney will recognize when a situation counts as entrapment and make that a key part of the defense plan.
- Not qualified for fraud. The crime committed or statement made might not be considered fraudulent under the legal definition of the crime. Not all false statements or any type of expression of an opinion is considered fraud.
For more information about how you can defend yourself against your fraud allegations, speak with an Ohio white collar criminal defense lawyer.