Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

Fraud: Knowledge of the Misrepresentation & Your Intention

Posted Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

In Washington State there are a number of crimes on the books that involve the making or use of a misrepresentation. In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden to prove each element of the crime charged. When the elements of a crime include making a misrepresentation with the intent to defraud or get unlawful gain from a misrepresentation, then the prosecution has the difficult job of proving what went on in the defendant’s mind (proving the defendant’s intention).

Fraud Crimes

Fraud is an intentional misrepresentation of material fact made with the purpose of inducing another person to act, and results in damages. The following are all fraud crimes, all of which involve making a misrepresentation.

• Forgery (RCW 9A.60.020).

• Obtaining a Signature by Deception or Duress (RCW 9A.60.030).

• Criminal Impersonation (RCW 9A.60.040; RCW 9A.60.045).

• False Certification (RCW 9A.60.050).

• Creation of use of False Academic Credentials (RCW 9A.60.070).

The foregoing crimes each have multiple prongs that constitute the crime; however, each of the fraud crimes above includes either the “intent to defraud” or acting “knowingly” of the misrepresentation.

Your knowledge of the misrepresentation or your intention can be critical to law enforcement’s investigation.

Proving intent to defraud or knowledge of misrepresentation, which speaks to a person’s state of mind, may be difficult to prove. When defending against fraud charges, demonstrating that you did not have the requisite intent or knowledge is one key to a solid defense. Part of your defense strategy may be to show that you did not have the requisite Mens Rea, the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of the crime charged. If the prosecution is unable to prove each element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt, then they cannot secure a conviction.

An experienced fraud defense attorney can help you understand the nature of the fraud charges against you and utilize all available defenses in your case.

Exercise Your Right to Remain SilentBecause your mental state is important to an investigation into fraud charges, you should not make any statements to law enforcement that may document your knowledge or intentions. Exercise your right to remain silent until you consult with an attorney. Do not make statements that will serve to bolster the Prosecution’s case and harm your defense.

Exercise Your Right to an Attorney

You have a right to have an attorney present during all stages of criminal proceedings, including during interrogation by law enforcement. Having your attorney present during questioning helps ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not say anything that will inadvertently harm your defense.

If you have been arrested for a crime involving fraud, the skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC understand how stressful your situation can be and can help you fight the allegations. Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense, and they will help you face your charges with confidence. For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.

We answer the phone 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at info@paduladefense.com, or fill out our online free consultation form today.