Yelm Forgery and Fraud
Sometimes, whether because of pressure to take action, a desire for personal gain, or merely by mistake, you may take a course of action that is—or may appear to be—an abuse of your position. Maybe you found a loophole to exploit, or you made a bad decision in a time of financial hardship. No matter the reason, the consequences of a white collar criminal conviction can be more than the loss of a job or lack of financial benefit; it can be costly to your wallet and your freedom.
For those of you who have never heard the term “white collar crime,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines white collar crime as a blanket term for crimes that “are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence. The motivation behind these crimes is financial—to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services or to secure a personal or business advantage.”
Historically, white collar crime was mostly perpetrated by business and government professionals. Having a white collar job (as opposed to a blue collar job) was synonymous with an upper-class corporate, government, or office job. With the advancing technology of the 21st century and the ever-expanding amount of crimes grouped under the umbrella term of “white collar crime,” more and more average Thurston County residents are being charged with a white collar crime. Listed below are just a few of the charges that currently fall under the white collar criminal charge umbrella.
- Money Laundering
- Bribery or Blackmail
- Identity Theft
- Cybercrime (including phishing, hacking, and cracking)
- Insider Trading
This website was designed to provide you with more information concerning the most common forms of white collar crimes charged in Thurston County, forgery and fraud. If you are under investigation for fraud, forgery, or other white collar crimes in Yelm, it is imperative that you contact an attorney right away. Our team of Thurston County criminal defense attorneys can help you understand the charges against you as well as how to best approach an effective defense. We offer a no-cost case evaluation for each new prospective client so that we can get to know the details of your case and you can find out how we can help you. Contact our team today to get started on your case.Fraud Charges and Penalties Explained by a Thurston County Criminal Law Lawyer
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fraud as the “intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.” Like the term “white collar crime,” fraud is an umbrella term that applies to many different charges in Washington state, including
- Check Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Unemployment Fraud
- Workers Compensation Fraud
- Welfare Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Criminal Impersonation
In Thurston County, the most commonly charged fraud crime is criminal impersonation. There are two levels of criminal impersonation charges
- Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree- Classified as a Class C Felony, this charge is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Washington State statute RCW 9A.60.040 defines Criminal Impersonation 1 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.” If you or a loved one has been charged with Criminal Impersonation 1, you will have to appear at the Thurston County Superior Court, located in Olympia.
- Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree- This charge 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 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 Thurston County District Court, also located in Olympia.
As you can see from just this small sample, a conviction for a fraud crime on your permanent criminal record may severely impact your future. If you believe you are being or may be investigated for fraud, you need to consult an attorney as early as possible. Fraud charges are serious criminal offenses with serious penalties, and you will need the help of an experienced Yelm fraud defense attorney.Forgery Charges and Penalties Explained by a Yelm Criminal Law Lawyer
Many people who are accused of forgery in Thurston County have never been in trouble with the law before. Some do not even realize that the activity leading to their arrest was a crime. According to Washington State statute RCW 9A.60.020
1) A person is guilty of forgery if, with intent to injure or defraud:
(a) He or she falsely makes, completes, or alters a written instrument or;
(b) He or she possesses, utters, offers, disposes of, or puts off as true a written instrument which he or she knows to be forged.
In order to understand this law, you should know that for the purposes of this definition a written instrument is any paper, contract, document, or other record containing written or printed matter as well as a device, token, stamp, seal, badge, trademark, or other symbol of value or identification.
If you look at subsection (b) in the forgery statute, you’ll notice that the way that this law is defined means that even if someone uses a document or token (for example a job contract or a notary seal) that they know to be falsified with the intent to defraud someone, that person can be charged with forgery. Even if that person didn’t actually forge the document or token themselves, if they knew it was forged, it’s considered a crime.
Forgery is a Class C Felony which is punishable by up to five years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. All felony cases are adjudicated at the Thurston County Superior Court, located in Olympia.
If you have been accused of forgery, know that you are not alone. To discuss your legal case with a Yelm fraud defense lawyer, contact us for a free case consultation.How a Yelm White Collar Defense Attorney Can Help You
In Washington state, the authorities take white collar crimes very seriously. They believe that fraud and forgery crimes demonstrate a quality of dishonesty in a person that often makes them dangerous to the public. If you are convicted of a white collar crime, you can face not only harsh penalties from the justice system but also the ruin of your professional career.
Many land mines lay in wait for a defendant who tries to talk his or her way out of charges. In many cases, people are convicted of white collar crimes not because of what they did but because of what they said. It is vital that you have an experienced Thurston County white collar defense attorney on your side to tell your story and work to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. For a free case evaluation, please contact our firm today.