Former State Prosecutor Jeff Hampton Fights to Protect Your Rights
Fraud is a difficult crime to prove for a prosecutor. However, when Parker County prosecuting attorneys win at trial, they are tough on crime and will ask for very long prison sentences. Parker County juries do not tolerate crime and will levy severe punishments after the trial. Furthermore, you must keep in mind that any conviction carries collateral consequences whose ramifications can last a lifetime. Having a former prosecutor fighting for you if you face fraud charges in Parker County will give you the edge you need to mount a successful defense and help you avoid jail and the unforeseen collateral consequences of a loss of a job, immigration consequences, and loss of certain privileges like obtaining a professional license.
Fraud in Texas
The Texas Penal Code defines fraud. Fraud essentially is intentionally passing off something as real or genuine that is fake and includes various criminal acts such as:
- “Criminal Simulation,”
- Counterfeit trademarks,
- Forging checks,
- Intentionally “bouncing” checks,
- Credit card fraud,
- Fraudulent credit card transfers,
- Lying to obtain credit,
- Impeding or hindering secured creditors,
- Commercial bribery,
- Falsifying contests,
- Unlawfully recruiting an athlete, and
- Fraudulently concealing or destroying a legal document, among other acts which constitute fraud.
Penalties for Fraud
The penalties for fraudulent conduct vary depending on the severity of the crime. The Texas Penal Code determines the severity of a fraud-related crime by the amount of money the property which is the object of the fraud is worth, in the aggregate. Typically, the penalties break down as follows:
- Class C misdemeanor for property valued at $100.00 or less,
- Class B misdemeanor for property valued at $100.00 to $750.00,
- Class A misdemeanor for property valued at $750.00 to $2,500.00,
- State jail felony for property valued at $2,500.00 to $30,000.00,
- Third degree felony for property valued at $30,000.00 to $150,000.00,
- Second degree felony for property valued at $150,000.00 to $300,000.00,
- First-degree felony for property valued at more than $300,000.00.
Other enhancements may apply. For instance, fraudulently depriving an older adult of money is an enhanced penalty.
Mistakes People Make When Facing Criminal Charges in Parker County
Some people think the better course of action when facing a fraud charge is to go to court and plead guilty or nolo contendre without a lawyer. Signing your rights away without first talking to a lawyer is fraught with danger. Pleading guilty or nolo contendre requires you to give up your rights to a trial as well as your rights to confronting and cross-examining witnesses, calling witnesses to the stand to give testimony on your behalf, and electing whether to testify. You give up all of those rights when you plead guilty.
Beyond that, you make it easy on the prosecution to get a conviction because you admit the facts of the case are true. Undoing a guilty plea is very difficult and is almost never done. You cannot return to court later on and complain to the judge that you did not know about a collateral consequence of your guilty plea.
Once you plead guilty to a fraud charge, you are forever branded a liar. Your word is no longer valuable. Moreover, you can lose your job, professional license, or be banned from working in specific industries if you have been convicted of fraud. Furthermore, the immigration consequences could be significant if you are living in the U.S. on a Visa or are a permanent resident.
Parker County Criminal Fraud Defense Attorney Jeff Hampton Can Help You Defend Against Fraud Charges
Attorney Hampton has the track record of success and a broad background of defending various charges in criminal court in Parker County. Call Attorney Hampton today at 817-877-5201 to begin your aggressive defense of fraud charges in Parker County.