Tumwater Forgery & Fraud

Do You Need a Thurston County White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney?

Allegations of various types of fraud, fraudulent conduct, forgery, or deception are serious criminal matters typically labeled under the umbrella term “white-collar crime.” The term white-collar crime was originally applied to charges against businesses and government professionals, however, today white-collar crime is no longer limited to corruption among big businesses and the super-rich.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a white-collar crime, such as forgery or fraud, you should contact a Tumwater white-collar criminal defense lawyer immediately. There is usually no time to waste and if you wait until you are charged, it might even be too late. White-collar criminal charges often follow months or even years of investigation. Substantial evidence is typically collected before charges are filed which makes these cases challenging to defend. It is important to have an attorney experienced in white-collar crime to defend your case. We can help you answer questions you may have, such as

  • Does consent matter for forgery charges?
  • Are Fake IDs considered fraud or forgery?
  • How do you win a fraud case?
  • Is it illegal to pretend to be a veteran so that I can use the VA hospital?
  • Is chargeback fraud against the law?

Many people facing white-collar criminal charges feel helpless or overwhelmed to defend themselves, especially in cases that involve the stigma of being seen as a “thief” or a “scammer.” Regardless of what evidence the prosecution may have collected against you, there are always ways to defend your legal rights.

Our team of Tumwater criminal defense attorneys believes that it’s important for clients to understand and educate themselves on the criminal process. This website attempts to explain some of the more common white-collar criminal charges seen in and around Thurston County. For a more in-depth explanation, or to go over the specifics of your criminal charge, please contact our firm today.

Fraud Charges and Penalties Explained by a Thurston County Criminal Law Lawyer

Most people can agree that technology is a wonderful thing and continues to make our lives easier. However, as our world constantly makes technological advancements, committing the crime of fraud is becoming progressively easier due to the increased accessibility of information.

A few examples of Fraud cases our Tumwater criminal defense attorneys have handled are listed below.

  • Criminal Impersonation
  • Identity theft
  • Check fraud
  • Illegal possession of an ID
  • Insurance fraud
  • Workers compensation fraud
  • Welfare fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Payroll fraud
  • Mortgage fraud

Criminal Impersonation is one of the most common fraud charges levied in Thurston County. There are two levels of criminal impersonation charges

  1. Criminal Impersonation in the first degree is classified as a Class C Felony, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. It is defined by the Washington State statute RCW 9A.60.040 as a person who “Assumes a false identity and does an act in his or her assumed character with intent to defraud another or for any other unlawful purpose; or (b) Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization or a public servant and does an act in his or her pretended capacity with intent to defraud another or for any other unlawful purpose.” All felony charges in Port Orchard and the surrounding cities are adjudicated at the Thurston County Superior Court, located in Olympia.
  2. Criminal Impersonation in the second degree involves a person pretending to be an officer of the law or falsely assumes the identity of a veteran or active duty military member with intent to defraud. An example of this charge would be a person pretending to be a veteran in order to gain the benefits of using the VA hospital. This charge is classified as a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Misdemeanors will be adjudicated at the Kitsap County District Court, also located in Olympia.

While there are many different crimes that fall into the category of fraud, this part of the law relies strongly on legal precedent in Washington, making the assistance of an experienced Tumwater white-collar criminal law attorney invaluable when defending yourself against these charges. Our team has defended against many different types of fraud and is ready to litigate aggressively on your behalf.

Forgery Charges and Penalties Explained by a Port Orchard Criminal Law Lawyer

Forgery involves the creation or alteration of a false document, object, or symbol for wrongful gain or profit. This can encompass many different acts, including:

  • Writing yourself a fake prescription for drugs
  • Making or possessing a fake identification card
  • Signing someone else’s name on a check or legal document
  • Creating a fake credit or debit card

These are only a few of the many types of forgery allegations that happen regularly in Washington.

If you are charged with engaging in conduct prohibited under the forgery statute, prosecutors must produce evidence at trial to prove each of the following elements of the crime:

  • Permission or authorization to engage in the conduct was not given by the party having authority to give it
  • You were aware you did not have permission to engage in the conduct
  • You engaged in the conduct intending to defraud another person or organization

Allegations of forgery are a serious matter that can result in severe legal consequences, including substantial fines and jail time. In addition, as it is considered a crime of moral turpitude, forgery can result in significant collateral consequences, including deportation, difficulty obtaining professional licenses, and an inability to obtain certain types of employment. For these reasons, it is extremely important that if you are facing forgery charges in Thurston County, you must retain legal counsel as soon as possible – whether you have been accused of forging a driver’s license for underage drinking or faking a signature on an important business document.

How a Tumwater White Collar Defense Attorney Can Help You

Many people charged with white-collar crimes such as fraud or forgery have never encountered the criminal justice system before. Being charged with a crime is devastating enough, not knowing what is going to happen makes the situation much worse.

Understand this - everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do afterward that matters. The police, prosecutors, investigators, and other law enforcement personnel have likely already invested many man-hours lining up the case against you by fine-tuning reports, interviewing and coaching witnesses, and developing other evidence. You must act quickly to prevent them from gaining even more of an unfair advantage. Your lawyer can determine the quality of the prosecution’s evidence and challenge the admissibility of evidence that may have been collected in violation of your rights.

Even an investigation on a white-collar criminal case can destroy a reputation or career. Contact our Tumwater criminal defense lawyers as soon as you possibly can, before the investigation results in prosecution and damages your standing in the community.

Our team understands that the government and prosecutors don’t always get it right. We take your freedom and your future seriously. Our Thurston County criminal defense lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience successfully defending the rights of individuals in Tumwater and its surrounding communities. Whether you are currently under investigation or have already been charged we can help. We offer a confidential initial consultation at no cost to you, so contact us today to consult with a lawyer about your criminal charges.

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