If you have been charged with scheme to defraud in Florida 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.
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 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.
Scheme To Defraud Defense Lawyer Since 1999
Chris has been defending individuals charged with scheme to defraud since 1999. Being a 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 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 Theft Defense Lawyers Get Different Results
When you have been charged with a scheme to defraud 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.”
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
(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).
(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.
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?
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?
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
- Community Service
- Loss of your driving privileges
- Cost of Investigation
- Cost of Prosecution
- Court Costs
*All program fees and costs are subject to change without notice.*
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