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Under Michigan law, people accused of engaging in deceptive practices can be charged with a variety of offenses that fall under the umbrella of fraud. Simply because a person faces criminal charges does not mean that the prosecution will be able to obtain a conviction, however, since the State must meet a high burden of proof to establish guilt. If you are charged with a fraud crime, it is wise to speak to an attorney about your potential defenses as soon as possible. Ellen K. Michaels is a capable Detroit fraud crime lawyer who can assess the circumstances surrounding your arrest and craft a compelling case designed to help you seek the best result possible. She assists defendants in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe Counties, and throughout the Detroit metro area.Fraud Crimes in Michigan
In Michigan, multiple crimes that involve using lies or deception to take property that belongs to another party are considered fraud. For example, a person may be charged with retail fraud for transferring, altering, removing, concealing, replacing, or in any way misrepresenting the price of an item with the intent of paying less than the actual price. A person may also be charged with retail fraud for using store property for which they did not pay in order to obtain a refund or exchange, with the intent of defrauding the store.
Using false pretenses with the intent to deceive another party constitutes fraud as well. Essentially, the crime of using false pretenses involves using lies or dishonest tactics to gain another party’s interest in land, obtaining a signature on a forged document, or using false weights to sell or obtain a different amount of property than what the other party agreed. A fraud crime attorney in the Detroit area can help you fight these charges. Credit card fraud, which is the act of unlawfully using another person’s credit card without permission, and tax fraud, which occurs when people falsify or omit information on tax returns, are also fraud offenses. Fraud crimes may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, and most people charged with such offenses face a risk of jail time and substantial penalties if they are convicted.Potential Defenses to Fraud Crimes
The defenses available will vary depending on the facts of the case, but there are some defenses that are more commonly asserted in response to fraud charges than others. For example, if people accused of fraud can establish that they lacked criminal intent, they may be found not guilty. In other words, if a person accused of attempting to return stolen property to a store did not know that the goods were not lawfully obtained, the jury should issue a not guilty verdict. In some instances, a defendant and a Detroit fraud crime attorney may be able to point out that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence that a crime was committed or that the defendant was the person engaging in unlawful acts.
In some cases, defendants will be able to argue that their rights were violated during the investigation of the alleged offense, and thus the State should be barred from using the evidence gathered during the investigation against them at trial. For example, if a person was questioned without being advised of the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent, it may constitute a violation of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Similarly, if people are detained without warrants or reasonable cause, it may violate their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.Consult a Knowledgeable Michigan Lawyer
It is important for people charged with fraud crimes to understand their rights and their options for seeking a favorable outcome, since fraud convictions carry weighty penalties. If you are accused of a fraud offense, Ellen K. Michaels will advocate aggressively on your behalf. Attorney Michaels has offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, and West Bloomfield, and she regularly represents individuals charged with fraud in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe Counties, and throughout Southeast Michigan. You can contact Attorney Michaels to set up a free meeting with a fraud crime lawyer in the Detroit area by using the online form or calling (248) 202-3345.