Welfare can be summed up as assistance in the form of public funds to aid people with necessary living expenses. This is provided by the federal government, state, and local governments. It can also be referred to as public benefits programs or public assistance. This is to ensure that people who are in dire need as a result of age, disability, income, or another status can be given some assistance. Welfare programs generally offer money, benefits, support to obtain food, childcare, housing, clothing, and healthcare.
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What Is Welfare Fraud?
Welfare fraud occurs when you wrongfully obtain or use public benefits that are offered via government programs for the assistance of disabled, low-income, or elderly individuals. By California state law, welfare fraud occurs when people make false statements or fail to report vital information when they apply for these kinds of public programs to receive benefits that they are otherwise not entitled to. There are several types of welfare fraud, such as recipient fraud, provide fraud, billing fraud, and a few others.
Penalties For Welfare Fraud
There are several penalties for welfare fraud including potentially all of the following:
- criminal penalties
- possible incarceration if you face charges such as forgery, theft, or perjury
- repayment of benefits
- suspension, or disqualification from receiving future benefits.
In terms of criminal penalties, they vary and may range from misdemeanors to felony charges. If you face felony charges, you are looking at the possibility of serving some jail time.
If you have been accused of welfare fraud, do not take it lightly. You should speak to a criminal defense attorney in Riverside at once, specifically a welfare fraud defense lawyer. Speaking to a qualified and seasoned attorney will enable you to understand your situation, the possible outcomes of signing any waivers or consent agreements, and the options you have available to fight the charges brought against you.
Make The Right Choice
If you happen to find yourself in such a predicament, get in touch with Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney John L. Michels. He is the best Criminal Defense Attorney in Riverside County, and having him in your corner means he will fight to make sure you win your case. He will not relent until the charges are sufficiently reduced or dropped completely, depending on the difficulty of the case and the evidence at hand. Take time to read our reviews from very satisfied clients and have a look at our many success stories.
Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney John L. Michels is an accomplished attorney with over 20 years experience in criminal defense of all kinds. Before embarking on his criminal defense career, he served as a Deputy District Attorney for several years. This experience helped him gain invaluable experience in the approaches and tactics employed by law enforcement officers and prosecutors. With such vital inside information, he ensures that his clients get the most favorable outcomes.
If you need a welfare fraud criminal defense lawyer in Riverside County, your best bet is Attorney John L. Michels. He even provides free consultation, is available round the clock to clients, and has staff who speak Spanish. Besides that, he works with a professional investigative team of ex-law enforcement officers who will leave no stone unturned to ensure that you receive the best outcome.
The Law Offices of John L. Michels serves the following courthouses;
- Riverside Courthouse
- Temecula Courthouse
- Murrieta Courthouse
- Banning Courthouse
- Indio Courthouse
He also is capable of representing clients in all criminal cases throughout the Inland Empire. So if you do need the services of a white collar crime defense lawyer or a credit card fraud defense lawyer, contact us at (951) 309-7500 for your free appointment.
How To Fight Welfare Fraud
There happen to be several legal defense options that a seasoned welfare fraud defense lawyer can present on your behalf. Here are a few.
- Absence Of Fraudulent Intent
Irrespective of which welfare fraud law you are accused of violating by prosecutors, you can not be convicted unless they prove that you had fraudulent intent. Without showing proof of your intent to commit fraud, the jury will be instructed by the judge to find you “not guilty” of the charges brought against you.
- Insufficient Evidence
You may have been accused of internal welfare fraud and have been reported by your employer because they noticed you had noted some suspicious activity and you had several duplicate files. But that alone is not enough to make a case. It may seem incriminating, but it is not conclusive. Even when the evidence points to actual criminal activity, if the actual proof cannot be provided, you will be cleared of all charges that were brought against you.
- Mistaken Identity / False Accusations
The best approach in this defense is with accusations that revolve around internal welfare fraud and may even apply to recipient fraud. Where there are even valid claims of welfare fraud, it does not essentially mean you are guilty of the offense. Applicants who have their names on welfare claims may rather be trying to take advantage of you. If they are relatives, you are more inclined to believe that they are providing the right information and may not have looked closely as you should have. This amounts to nothing more than negligence, and that can be argued in the courtroom. There may be several reasons that may cause you to be falsely accused of such an offense. But with the knowledge and experience at our disposal, an internal investigation can be carried out to ascertain your innocence.
- Restitution Agreements
The main concern of prosecutors is to recoup the money for the state. Your ability to pay back the money you are accused of taking can be a huge factor in determining your sentence or reduction in charges. This will often make the prosecution willing to reduce the charges or agree to a light sentence.
Contact Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney John L. Michels today at (951) 309-7500 and speak to a highly respected and well-seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney. Get in touch for your free and confidential consultations at our Riverside and Murrieta offices.