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Michigan Fraud Lawyer

If you have been accused of fraud in Michigan, you should immediately take steps to defend yourself by obtaining legal representation. Michigan’s penal code addresses a wide variety of fraud-based crimes, and while the penalties vary widely, many convictions can carry lengthy prison sentences.

Many fraud-based crimes require a showing of intent by the prosecution in order to convict, meaning it is often possible to defend against these charges. A Michigan fraud lawyer has assisted defendants facing a variety of fraud charges and can help you too. Call an experienced attorney today to help give you the best possible chances of avoiding a conviction.

Common Fraud Laws 

Chapters XLI and XLIII of Michigan’s Penal Code address many different types of fraud-based crimes. A person commits fraud by making a false representation of facts that they know to be false for their own personal gain. Examples of fraud-based crimes include using credit cards belonging to another person, writing false checks, or creating forgeries. In some cases, even the mere possession of counterfeit items or notes is enough to support a fraud conviction.

The potential penalties for a conviction of fraud in Michigan vary widely, depending on the circumstances of the fraudulent act. Many types of fraud involving forgery or the possession or production of counterfeit documents are felony offenses that can result in substantial prison sentences. There are several common fraud-based crimes, such as:

Obtaining A Signature By Fraud

A person who obtains another person’s signature with the intention of cheating or defrauding that person is guilty of a felony. This crime is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years in duration, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

A person who either possesses or attempts to collect on a document containing a signature that they know was fraudulently obtained is subject to the same penalties as the person who fraudulently obtained the signature in the first place.

Credit Card Theft

It is illegal to steal, possess, sell, or purchase the credit card of another person. It is also illegal to use another person’s credit card without their express consent.

A person found to be in possession of another person’s credit cards with the intent to use, sell, or deliver them without the owner’s consent is guilty of a felony offense punishable by a prison sentence of up to four years in duration, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Counterfeit Items

Any person who modifies or affixes a label to goods which are not the genuine products of that label’s manufacturer with the intent to deceive a purchaser is guilty of a misdemeanor offense.

Building a Defense

Michigan’s law is unique in the level of detail afforded to various types of fraud-based crimes. Although the penalties for a fraud conviction may merely result in probation and community service for certain misdemeanor offenses, other types of fraud constitute serious felonies that come with mandatory minimum sentences. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, a conviction can result in lengthy jail time, in addition to the life-long consequences of a felony record.

An experienced Michigan fraud lawyer will often be able to help their clients avoid jail time by asserting affirmative defenses, weakening the prosecution’s case, or successfully arguing that the charges should be lowered or dropped entirely. With the help of a fraud attorney in Michigan, those charged with many types of fraud may also be able to negotiate plea deals that will allow them to avoid the harsh penalties of a conviction.

Working with a Fraud Attorney 

If you are being accused of fraud, you will need the help of a defense attorney who intimately understands this complex area of law. Depending on the circumstances that led to your arrest, you may be facing the serious consequences of a felony conviction.

The assistance of an experienced fraud defense attorney will ensure that you understand your legal rights and do not inadvertently hurt your case when speaking to law enforcement. Contact a Michigan fraud lawyer to determine the best defense strategy for your case as soon as possible.