Orlando Scheme To Defraud Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with scheme to defraud in Orlando please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss what options may be available to get your theft charge dismissed or reduced.  One way to get your scheme to defraud charge dismissed is by completing a Pre-Trial Diversion program.  Not every scheme to defraud case is eligible for a Pre-Trial Diversion program.

Former Scheme To Defraud Prosecutor

As a former scheme to defraud prosecutor Chris has an understanding of what can be important to the prosecutor in your Orlando scheme to defraud case.  It is important to understand how the other side works.  Chris uses this understanding to determine what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome in your scheme to defraud case.

Orlando Scheme To Defraud Defense Lawyer Since 1999

Chris has been defending individuals in Orlando charged with scheme to defraud since 1999.  Being an Orlando scheme to defraud defense lawyer for so long has given Chris the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with the judges and prosecutors in Orlando that handle scheme to defraud cases like yours.  Experience dealing with those judges and prosecutors is important in achieving the best results in your scheme to defraud case.

Different Orlando Theft Defense Lawyers Get Different Results

When you have been charged with a scheme to defraud in Orlando you need an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer like Chris to defend you.  A scheme to defraud conviction will stay on your record forever, therefore, it is important to be represented by the right lawyer.  The better prepared you are for your court appearance the more likely it is you will get a favorable outcome.  The best results possible are rarely obtained by just hoping for them.  Get the help you need at Chris S. Boatright, P.A. to get the best results possible.

Florida Communications Fraud Act (Florida Statute 817.034)

(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT
(a) The Legislature recognizes that schemes to defraud have proliferated in the United States in recent years and that many operators of schemes to defraud use communications technology to solicit victims and thereby conceal their identities and overcome a victim’s normal resistance to sales pressure by delivering a personalized sales message.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent the use of communications technology in furtherance of schemes to defraud by consolidating former statutes concerning schemes to defraud and organized fraud to permit prosecution of these crimes utilizing the legal precedent available under federal mail and wire fraud statutes.
(2) SHORT TITLE
This section may be cited as the “Florida Communications Fraud Act.”
(3) DEFINITIONS
As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Communicate” means to transmit or transfer or to cause another to transmit or transfer signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligences of any nature in whole or in part by mail, or by wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photooptical system.
(b) “Obtain” means temporarily or permanently to deprive any person of the right to property or a benefit therefrom, or to appropriate the property to one’s own use or to the use of any other person not entitled thereto.
(c) “Property” means anything of value, and includes:
1. Real property, including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land;
2. Tangible or intangible personal property, including rights, privileges, interests, and claims; and
3. Services.
(d) “Scheme to defraud” means a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud one or more persons, or with intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.
(e) “Value” means value determined according to any of the following:
1.a. The market value of the property at the time and place of the offense, or, if such cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the offense.
b. The value of a written instrument that does not have a readily ascertainable market value, in the case of an instrument such as a check, draft, or promissory note, is the amount due or collectible or is, in the case of any other instrument which creates, releases, discharges, or otherwise affects any valuable legal right, privilege, or obligation, the greatest amount of economic loss that the owner of the instrument might reasonably suffer by virtue of the loss of the instrument.
c. The value of a trade secret that does not have a readily ascertainable market value is any reasonable value representing the damage to the owner, suffered by reason of losing an advantage over those who do not know of or use the trade secret.
2. If the value of property cannot be ascertained, the trier of fact may find the value to be not less than a certain amount; if no such minimum value can be ascertained, the value is an amount less than $300.
3. Amounts of value of separate properties obtained in one scheme to defraud, whether from the same person or from several persons, shall be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense under paragraph (4)(a).
(4) OFFENSES
(a) Any person who engages in a scheme to defraud and obtains property thereby is guilty of organized fraud, punishable as follows:
1. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of $50,000 or more, the violator is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
2. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of $20,000 or more, but less than $50,000, the violator is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
3. If the amount of property obtained has an aggregate value of less than $20,000, the violator is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) Any person who engages in a scheme to defraud and, in furtherance of that scheme, communicates with any person with intent to obtain property from that person is guilty, for each such act of communication, of communications fraud, punishable as follows:
1. If the value of property obtained or endeavored to be obtained by the communication is valued at $300 or more, the violator is guilty of a third degree felony, punishable as set forth in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
2. If the value of the property obtained or endeavored to be obtained by the communication is valued at less than $300, the violator is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as set forth in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of law, separate judgments and sentences for organized fraud under paragraph (a) and for each offense of communications fraud under paragraph (b) may be imposed when all such offenses involve the same scheme to defraud.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a criminal action or civil action or proceeding under this section may be commenced at any time within 5 years after the cause of action accrues; however, in a criminal proceeding under this section, the period of limitation does not run during any time when the defendant is continuously absent from the state or is without a reasonably ascertainable place of abode or work within the state, but in no case shall this extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable by more than 1 year.

Evidence

In order for the State of Florida to prove you committed the crime of theft, the State need’s evidence.  Normally, the law enforcement officer’s report contains a statement of the evidence against you.  However, there may be other evidence in your case which the law enforcement officer failed to document in the report.  It is essential for you and your attorney to review all of the evidence in your case before preparing your defense.  Some important questions are:

  •  Were there any witnesses to the incident and if so did they provide a statement?
  •  Was the incident recorded by videotape?
  •  What is the actual value of the property allegedly stolen?
  •  Was the property recovered?

Constitutional Rights

The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both guarantee that people be free from self-incrimination.  In order for a person to give up their privilege against self-incrimination the person must do so freely voluntarily and knowingly and that is why a person is normally advised of their Miranda rights after arrest but prior to any questioning by a law enforcement officer.  It is important for you to know if your privilege against self-incrimination was violated.  If your privilege against self-incrimination was violated evidence in your case may be inadmissible.  Some important questions to consider are:

  •  Were you questioned by a law enforcement officer after you were arrested?
  •  Did you make any statements that are harmful to your case?
  •  Were you read your Miranda rights?

Orange County Pretrial Diversion Program For Scheme To Defraud Charges

If you successfully complete the Orange County Pretrial Diversion Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.

This a 12 month long program with the following requirements:

1.) You must refrain from violation of any federal, state or local law.  If you are arrested or charged with a crime while in the pretrial diversion program, you are subject to automatic revocation whether the crime occurred before or after the signing of the pretrial diversion contract.

2.) You must associate only with law abiding persons.

3.) You must work regularly at a lawful occupation; or pursue a course of studies as a full-time student, or both.  Employment must be verified by documentation only within the first 30 days of supervision.  Thereafter, employment verification shall be made every other month.

4.) You must take an active part in counseling and attend all scheduled appointments.  You must participate in and be responsible for program costs of any referrals your pretrial diversion officer recommends.  Referrals may include, but are not limited to participation in drug/alcohol counseling, a mental health evaluation, urine screenings, General Equivalency Diploma (GED)  and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

5.) You must immediately inform the Pretrial Diversion Program of any anticipated or unanticipated change in your residence or your employment.  It is your obligation to notify the Pretrial Diversion Program of any change in your address and to comply with residence verification instructions.  Should it be determined that you have moved from your reported residence or changed employment, without notice to the Pretrial Diversion Program, and are no longer able to be contacted through your reported mailing address, you are subject to automatic revocation.  If you have been arrested in this case, you must also notify the Clerk of the Court for Orange County, Florida, preferably in writing, of your address change.  No Out-of-Country Travel will be approved while participating in the Pretrial Diversion Program.  All Notices, summonses, or other mail will be sent to your current address.  If you fail to appear in court due to paperwork being sent to an old address, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and you may be revoked from the Pretrial Diversion Program.

6.) You will promptly and truthfully answer all questions directed to you by your Pretrial Diversion Program Officer.

7.) You must pay a Cost of Supervision fee of $20.00 a month to the State of Florida as required by Florida Statute Section 948.08 unless otherwise exempted in compliance with the Florida Statutes.  All monies collected by the Florida Department of Corrections will be subject to a 4% surcharge.  There will be a one-time drug testing fee of $30.00.

8.) You will complete 100 hours of Alternative Community Service (ACS).  ACS and all sanctions must be completed sixty days prior to the expiration of this contract or sixty days prior to any subsequent expiration date resulting from an extension or as determined by a Review Board Panel.

9.) Once the Defendant has satisfied all sanctions, early termination is acceptable.

10.) You must pay a $100.00 non-refundable cost of prosecution fee to the State of Florida within 60 days as required by Florida Statute Section 938.27.

11.) You must successfully complete an approved anti-theft/impulse control class.

12.) No return to the location of the alleged incident.

13.) You may also be required to submit to random urine screenings for drugs.  Any drug test with a positive result is a violation of the Pretrial Diversion Program Agreement, and may result in additional consequences or revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.

In order to be eligible for the Pretrial Diversion Program you must have no criminal history (arrests, convictions, or cases in which adjudication of guilt has been withheld, whether as a juvenile or adult), or if you have a prior criminal history, you must disclose it to the Pretrial Diversion Program.  If it is found that you not been fully candid on this issue, you are subject to revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.

If you fail to comply with any of the above conditions, your case may be subject to the following action, depending upon the violation.

  1. Your officer may extend the period of diversion to a term not to exceed 3 months from the date of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract, or
  2. The Review Board may add additional special conditions or otherwise modify this contract, or
  3.  Revoke the Pretrial Diversion Program contract and the State Attorney will prosecute you for this offense.

A Review Board comprised of an Assistant State Attorney and a representative of the Florida Department of Corrections, Pretrial Diversion Program, has been established for the purpose of reviewing any proposed revocation or modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract.  Your Pretrial Diversion Officer will attend this hearing.  Modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract may occur if you agree to the modification, by Review Board decision.  At Review Board Hearings, evidence establishing violations of conditions of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract will be heard.  You will be given notice of this hearing and may attend and present any evidence you have in your defense and/or any evidence you have to establish matters in mitigation.  Failure to appear will result in automatic revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.  The Review Board, after hearing and considering all evidence, will render a decision in writing, citing the reasons for that decision.  All members of the Review Board must agree to revocation or modification.  In its written decision, the Review Board will state whether it has decided to revoked the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract or allow the Defendant to continue in the Pretrial Diversion Program.  If the agreement is modified, the modifications made by the Review Board will be stated.  If you are revoked from the Pretrial diversion Program, you will be prosecuted for the original criminal violation.  The Defendant is bound by the decision of the Review Board.  The Pretrial Diversion Contract is an agreement that is a deferral of prosecution.  If the terms of the agreement are met, the initial charge will be dropped and the State of Florida will be barred from prosecution.  If the terms of the agreement are violated, prosecution concerning any charge will proceed.

Orlando Scheme To Defraud Charge Penalties

A conviction for a scheme to defraud can result in many different penalties in addition to being a convicted felon.  It is important for you to know what penalties you may be facing.  Some of the penalties for a scheme to defraud conviction may include:

  •  Time in Jail or Prison
  •  Probation
  •  Community Service
  •  Classes
  •  Loss of your driving privileges
  •  Restitution
  •  Cost of Investigation
  •  Cost of Prosecution
  •  Fines
  •  Court Costs

*All program fees and costs are subject to change without notice.*

 

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