If Texas police have taken you into custody or knocked on your door to request entry for a search, you could wind up facing criminal charges in court. If someone accuses you of business fraud, prosecutors will have their work cut out to convince the court to rule against you. Knowing your rights, as well as where to seek support to help you protect them, is a key factor to being able to mitigate your circumstances.
Fraud is basically defined as any practice or omission used to obtain benefit or avoid obligation or penalty. Such practices might include falsifying documents or misrepresentation. Forging a signature, lying on a tax return or any number of other issues may prompt a fraud investigation.
Were you accused of fraud as a business owner?
If you are a business owner, it may have been a client or several customers who filed a complaint against you. Someone may be accusing you of refusing to refund an overpayment or otherwise taking advantage of a client for your own financial gain.
Fraud allegations are a serious matter. Not only your personal reputation but your entire career may be at stake if the court were to hand down a conviction. The penalties under conviction for fraud often include substantial fines, as well as time in prison. In some cases, if you possess a professional license of some sort, the court may restrict or prohibit you from continuing your services.
How to build a strong defense against business fraud charges
If you are subject to a federal fraud investigation, try to remain calm and cooperate with investigators as much as possible. Also, be diligent to protect your rights. If you believe investigators have conducted an unlawful search or seizure, you can take steps to request a case dismissal or challenge the evidence submitted in court.
If you believe that a clerical error, a false accusation or some other unintended issue has made you suspect under the law, you can use the resources available to you to present your defense in court. Also, remember that you do not have to answer questions under interrogation without the benefit of legal representation being present. In representation, you may invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Many cases are settled out of court
Accusations of business fraud does not necessarily mean you will face conviction or even that you will stand trial. Oftentimes, people facing such charges are able to rely on experienced defense advocates for support. In such cases, it is often possible for a defense attorney to negotiate with prosecutors in order to resolve an issue before the filing of charges.
In any case, building a strong support network from the start is often the key to obtaining a positive outcome.