If you become subject to a federal criminal investigation in Texas, your life might be highly stressful. It’s critical that you know you rights and how to defend them, such as the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent under interrogation, unless legal representation is present. It’s also helpful to know what types of activities constitute federal crimes, such as fraud. Within some categories, however, including fraud, there are various types of crime.
Fraud is a broad term that refers various types of attempts to deceive others, typically to result in personal gain, especially in a financial sense. It’s not only possible to face federal fraud charges in a criminal court. It’s also possible to be sued in a civil court if a person claims to have fallen victim to a fraudulent scheme that you committed. Understanding the various types of fraud can help you know what steps to take to defend yourself if charges or a lawsuit are filed against you.
In 1998, the US Congress made identity theft a federal crime
If you were to acquire another person’s information for the purpose of pretending to be him or her, you might be committing an identity theft crime, which has been listed as a federal fraud crime since 1998. To be convicted of identity theft, the court must be convinced that you stole someone’s information from a federal or financial entity or from personal property, such as a wallet or credit or debit card.
The Federal Trade Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation or even the Secret Service may be involved in investigating identity theft.
Other types of fraud
In addition to identity theft, you may be arrested for suspected fraud for several other types of crime, as well, such as those included in the following list:
- Wire fraud
- Mail fraud
- Tax evasion
- Healthcare fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
- Sweepstakes or lottery fraud
If a Texas police officer takes you into custody for suspected fraud, and you face charges in a federal court, there could be a lot at stake, including your personal freedom. Because punishment for such crimes is often severe, it’s always best to seek guidance before heading to court, so that you may be able to mitigate your circumstances as much as possible.
Before an arrest takes place
It’s just as important to know what to do during an investigation as it is to know your rights and how to defend them, after you’ve been arrested in Texas. For instance, if investigators knock on your door, asking to come inside your home, do you have to let them? If a police officer wants to search your vehicle or property, are you obligated to comply?
If you’re unsure about such issues, it’s a good idea to speak with someone who is well-versed in criminal law matters, especially regarding federal crimes, such as fraud.