Sumner Fraud & Forgery
The term "white-collar crime" refers to any nonviolent crime that is committed by an individual or corporation to achieve unlawful commercial gains. Especially in cases of white-collar crimes, it is frightening how often people find themselves in trouble just by a simple mistake, or by being unaware of the applicable laws.
We are a criminal defense law firm in Pierce County that utilizes our 50 combined years of experience and knowledge of the criminal defense legal system to help all those in need. A skilled attorney is especially vital when facing white-collar criminal charges like fraud, embezzlement, or forgery that could result in prison time and/or expensive fines. Our team is committed to providing excellent service to our clients, ensuring we listen to their cases, their circumstances, and their needs before determining a proper legal defense on their behalf.
We understand that it’s your life, your livelihood, and possibly your freedom on the line, so every move we make will be motivated by those high stakes.
If you’re under investigation for or have already been charged with fraud, forgery, or any other white-collar crime, you need to understand exactly what is going to happen. To do this, please use the free resources in this section of our website to learn more about the crime that you are accused of and how an experienced Sumner criminal defense attorney can help you with your case.White-Collar Criminal Charges Explained by a Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney
“White Collar Crime" generally refers to a crime committed through deceit and motivated by financial gain. There are numerous types of white-collar crimes, including
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
- Pyramid schemes
- Insider trading
The two most common white-collar criminal charges that occur in Pierce County are forgery and fraud.
"Fraud" implies that an individual purposefully performed a deception. That deception removed property or rights from another individual. Most fraud crimes are considered white-collar, as they involve deceiving someone for financial gain, and do not typically involve any sort of violence. However, this doesn't mean the consequences are less severe.
Types of fraud charges our Sumner criminal defense attorneys have represented include:
- Bank fraud
- Identity theft
- Insurance fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Computer fraud
- Healthcare fraud
The most commonly charged fraud crimes in Sumner are
- Criminal Impersonation in the 1st degree- According to Washington state law, a person commits Criminal Impersonation 1 if he or she knowingly assumes a false or fictitious identity or capacity, and in such identity or capacity, he or she does any other act with intent to unlawfully gain a benefit for himself or another or injure or defraud another. In other words, you pretended to be someone else in order to gain something, whether that something is money, goods, or some other benefit.
- Criminal Impersonation in the 2nd degree- State statute RCW 9A.60.045 on criminal impersonation 2 “A person is guilty of criminal impersonation in the second degree if the person:
(a)(i) Claims to be a law enforcement officer or creates an impression that he or she is a law enforcement officer; and
(ii) Under circumstances not amounting to criminal impersonation in the first degree, does an act with intent to convey the impression that he or she is acting in an official capacity and a reasonable person would believe the person is a law enforcement officer; or
(b) Falsely assumes the identity of a veteran or active duty member of the armed forces of the United States with intent to defraud for the purpose of personal gain or to facilitate any unlawful activity.”
Forgery is also considered a type of fraud commonly charged in Pierce County. Forgery happens when somebody attempts to forge a type of writing or document in order to defraud another person, business, or entity. The most well-known form of forgery is altering checks (i.e. signing someone else’s name on a check in order to receive those funds), however, forgery can involve credit card applications, cash, real estate deeds, wills, and just about any type of document that can be physically or digitally altered.
If the matter that you have been charged with or are being investigated for is not listed in the above area, feel free to contact our Sumner criminal defense attorneys for a free case consultation. We guarantee your case will receive personal attention from one of our experienced legal professionals.Penalties for Forgery or Fraud Charges in Pierce County
Fraud charges can vary widely in their severity. Listed below are the penalties for some of the common fraud charges seen in Pierce County, as outlined above.
Criminal Impersonation in the 1st degree is charged as a Class C Felony. If convicted of Criminal Impersonation in the 1st degree in Pierce County, this charge is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Criminal Impersonation in the 2nd degree is charged as a gross misdemeanor. If convicted of Criminal Impersonation in the 2nd degree in Sumner, this charge carries punishments of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
In most cases, forgery charges are felonies. This means, if convicted you’re going to be facing more than one year in a correctional prison facility. Depending upon the type of document forged and the amount of money in question, you could be facing up to 10 years or more behind bars. This could be in addition to thousands of dollars in potential fines associated with your charges.
All felony fraud cases, including forgery, will be adjudicated at the Pierce County Superior Court, located in Tacoma. All misdemeanor fraud charges, including criminal impersonation in the 2nd degree, will be adjudicated at the Pierce County District Court, which is also located in downtown Tacoma.
If convicted of forgery or any other type of fraud, you can expect to have additional negative impacts on your life, including your ability to find a job or secure housing.How a Pierce County Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
There is no one correct way to defend white-collar charges. Every accused person in Sumner deserves personalized representation from an experienced Pierce County defense attorney. Our legal team will put in the time and attention to devise the right approach for your case, whether that means working to keep you out of prison or fighting to get illegitimate charges dismissed.
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, the prosecution has a head-start against you and often has extensive documentation of the offense. We will examine what evidence the prosecution has and work diligently to build a defense strategy. Whether you are currently under investigation or have already been charged with a white-collar crime like forgery or fraud, contact our Sumner criminal defense attorneys today for a free case consultation.