Insurance fraud occurs when you commit any act with the intent to fraudulently obtain some benefit or advantage to which you are not otherwise entitled, or when you knowingly deny some benefit that is due and to which someone is entitled.1 There are many different types of insurance fraud such as life, health care, workers’ compensation, property and automobile. Each has severe penalties so it is important you contact an experienced fraud crimes defense attorney if you are charged with insurance fraud in Newport Beach.
What is Insurance Fraud?
Being charged with a crime does not necessarily mean you will be convicted or found guilty of that crime. In order to be convicted of insurance fraud, the prosecutor must first prove that you intentionally completed a fraudulent act aimed at getting a benefit from an insurer. If the act and intention do not occur together, then there is no insurance fraud.2 However, the prosecution does not need to prove that anyone was actually defrauded or harmed. If you try and fail to defraud an insurer, the crime of insurance fraud can still be charged. The three elements that must be met for you to be convicted of insurance fraud are:
- You knowingly made a false or misleading statement,3
- The statement is made in connection with a claim or payment made or to be made under the terms of an insurance policy, and
- The statement is material.
The judge or jury must find that all three of these elements are met beyond a reasonable doubt in order for you to be found guilty of insurance fraud.4
Punishment for Insurance Fraud in Newport Beach
In California, Penal Code sections 548-550 govern insurance fraud law.5 Prosecutors can decide whether to charge insurance fraud as either a misdemeanor or felony. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you may have to serve up to one year in county jail and/or pay fines.6 If you are convicted of a felony, you can be sentenced to 2-5 years in state prison and ordered to pay up to $50,000 in fines. Insurance fraud is a serious offense and the penalties can be very severe.
After an insurance fraud claim, the police or a detective may contact you regarding the claim. However, it is important that you obtain an attorney before responding. Insurance fraud is a complicated matter and it is best to consult a skilled criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich who has the knowledge and experience to help you.
Contact the Insurance Fraud Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
Being accused of insurance fraud is a serious matter. It is important to seek an experienced attorney to help you throughout the process. Getting help in the early stages is critical in obtaining the best result possible in your case.
Whether your case involves life, health care, workers’ compensation, property, automobile, or any other type of insurance fraud, the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are here to help you. Call today for a free consultation regarding your insurance fraud case.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.
1. “Fraud: What is Insurance Fraud?” California Department of Insurance. <http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0300-fraud/0100-fraud-division-overview/0100-what-is-insurance-fraud/>.]↩
6. [“Penal Code Section 548-551.” Official California Legislative Information.