When facing any type of federal charge including government fraud it is imperative that you understand exactly what you are facing and how your case is likely to be handled. With these factors in mind, the following is what you need to know if you are a loved one are facing fraud charges. To learn more or discuss the specifics of your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Maryland government fraud lawyer today.
The majority of the time government fraud is going be charged as a felony offense, however misdemeanor fraud charges do exist and are mostly used as plea bargaining incentives. The reason misdemeanor fraud is less common is because the amount of fraud would have to fall under $1,000 which is a very low threshold in most fraud cases. As a result the majority of the time government fraud charges will a a felony offense.
Not all fraud charges are prosecuted at the federal level—there are state level fraud statutes. If the alleged fraud is related to a federal government program, then that will be tried in federal court. State-level fraud charges are typically related to state -specific agencies or involve a lower amount of money than most federal fraud cases.
There has to be a nexus, a connection between the alleged crime and federal law, to get into federal court. If it’s a state government agency that is alleging that they’ve been defrauded, then that most likely stays in state court.
The jurisdiction in which it is tried depends on a variety of factors. There has to be a connection to each federal district where it can potentially be introduced. For example, if you have a case where there are different alleged activities going on in different districts, (for example, if you have some activity going on in the District of Columbia, some in Maryland, and then some activity in Virginia), it comes down to a variety of factors such as:
These questions can result in a decision making process on the part of the investigating agency and the prosecutors as to where the case is going to be brought to court.
In Maryland fraud cases tend to be pursued pretty aggressively by prosecutors. Additionally the way prosecutors negotiate and attempt to resolve cases tends to be more draconian then in other federal districts. In order to combat this approach from the prosecution it is important that your attorney be very aggressive as well when dealing with your case in the state of Maryland.