When the Kruse Law Firm has your case, they bring the defence experience you need to properly defend your Guelph fraud case. Our knowledgeable lawyers will work with you to develop your best defence. Our Guelph fraud lawyers are known for bringing passion and outstanding advocacy skills to the courtroom with every case we defend.
Guelph Fraud Lawyer
A fraud charge is in the same general category as theft charges, but is technically classified as a crime of dishonesty. Charges of fraud are brought when one person takes advantage of another person or a group of people by defrauding them of money, service, property or valuable security. The action of defrauding can be defined as using deception or dishonesty to procure someone else’s property for the purpose of personal financial gain. A charge of fraud is often difficult for the Crown to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Fraudulent actions can include:
- Breach of trust that usually involves the accused’s employer
- Credit and debit card fraud
- Defrauding financial institutions
- Defrauding a business
- Misrepresentation of legal documents
- Construction fraud with the contractors
- Fraud involving a testamentary instrument, will or estate
In order for the Crown to prove guilt, the crime must meet two specific elements. First, there must be a prohibited act of deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means. Second, the prohibited act must lead to the deprivation or loss of money, property, service or valuable security. Since the charge of fraud can involve depriving a person of different types or amounts of property on various dates, the Crown could potentially charge you with multiple counts of fraud.
The charge of fraud, no matter what the value of the property in question, is considered to be a serious crime by the Crown and you may also suffer repercussions beyond the jail sentence related to your employment, stigma in your community, housing and ability to travel outside of Canada. You need to contact your Guelph Fraud Lawyer to successfully guide you through the court process and to advise you during the preparation of your defence.
Fraud with a Value Less than $5,000
The charge of fraud of property valued at less than $5,000 is a serious offence. If the Crown has elected by indictment and the burden of proof is met and you are found guilty of fraud with a value below $5,000, this carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. The Crown may also choose to proceed summarily on a fraud under $5,000 charge and the maximum jail term is less onerous compared to an indictable fraud charge.
Fraud with a Value Greater than $5,000
Should you be found guilty of fraud with a value above $5,000, it is considered to be a straight indictable offence and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. The charge of fraud over $5,000 is a very serious criminal offence with devastating repercussions. If a person is charged with fraud over $5,000, they are not limited to a trial in the Ontario Court of Justice like they would be for a fraud under $5,000 charge. They can elect to be tried by a judge sitting alone in the Ontario Court of Justice or they can elect to be tried in the Superior Court of Justice by judge alone or by a judge and jury. An accused who is charged with fraud over $5,000 also has an important right to elect to have a preliminary hearing which is not available for a fraud under $5,000 charge.
Other Legal Consequences
With fraud charges, the trial will usually proceed even if the property or money is returned to its rightful owner or replaced. While these restitution actions could potentially be positively used for bargaining purposes during the sentencing phase resulting in a lower penalty, an accused has to be careful and consult with an experienced lawyer before returning money or property to the owner. The reasons for this is that the act of returning the money or property may assist the crown in proving a person’s guilt. If you receive a criminal record for fraud, you will find it very difficult to find or keep a job or rent a new apartment. Unfortunately, the negative stigma of any type of criminal charge and especially a crime of dishonesty, can follow you for years.
Your Guelph Fraud Lawyer
Kruse Law Firm has defended fraud cases for many years. Our knowledgeable and talented Guelph Fraud Lawyers are ready to bring their experience to prepare the best defence for you and/or negotiate the best possible outcome to avoid a criminal record or lighten your sentence. Mike Kruse, the founding partner, has more than 30 years of criminal law experience presenting impassioned courtroom defences to fraud charges.
Kruse Law Firm offers free online consultations with our Guelph Fraud lawyers to answer your questions and explain how we will guide you through the court process and present your best defence. Fill out the brief online form or call us today to get started.