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The elements and consequences of fraud charges

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Criminal allegations of all forms are serious. A Texas resident who finds themselves facing accusations of alleged criminal conduct can choose to stand up for their rights and fight their charges. Whether their alleged actions involve violence, theft, or white collar crime, a criminal defense attorney can guide them through procedural and defense options to protect their future.

One crime that is often misunderstood is fraud. While fraud can be alleged in a variety of contexts, this post will speak to fraud generally. As with all legal matters, it is important that readers discuss their specific legal issues with knowledgeable attorneys as this post does not provide legal advice.

The elements of fraud

Fraud is generally a financial crime. It can be alleged between individuals who have economic relationships, such as fiduciary brokers to their clients. When fraud is alleged, prosecutors must prove several elements to secure convictions.

First, fraud requires an individual to knowingly or intentionally make a false or wrongful statement to another person. The alleged criminal must mean for their alleged victim to hear the information and act on it, generally to their own detriment. At its core, fraud requires a person to wish to deprive their alleged victim of money or property through deceit.

Second, fraud requires an action, generally being the action of the alleged victim using the bad information they received to divest themselves of money and enrich the alleged criminal. Fraud is therefore like many other criminal allegations as it requires both intention and action to be proven.

Dealing with fraud charges

Even though it does not involve physical violence or harm, fraud is not considered a victimless crime. Prosecutors throughout Texas take fraud seriously and can seek serious penalties, including jail time and fines, against fraud defendants. There are no guarantees under the law, but fraud defendants can fight their charges and seek relief with the assistance of criminal defense attorneys.