Affordable Fraud Defence Lawyers in Ottawa
When Affordable Defence takes charge of your case, you benefit from the criminal law experience and essential skills needed to defend your fraud case in Ottawa. Our adept lawyers collaborate with you to craft the strongest defense. Renowned for expertise and passion in the courtroom, our Ottawa fraud lawyers specialize in navigating the intricacies of fraud charges, falling under the broader category of crimes of dishonesty.
Fraud charges are initiated when an individual exploits others by deceiving them of property, money, valuable security, or services. This deceptive action involves using falsehood or other fraudulent means for personal financial gain. These charges can encompass various actions, such as breach of trust against an employer, credit and debit card fraud, defrauding financial institutions, defrauding a business, misrepresentation of legal documents, and construction fraud involving contractors.
To prove guilt in white-collar crime cases, the Crown must establish two elements: a prohibited intentional act involving deceit, falsehood, or fraud, and this act causing the loss of money, property, or services. Complex fraud cases, common in white-collar crime, may involve multiple charges and extensive electronic evidence. At Affordable Defence, we specialize in providing a strong defense against fraud charges in Ottawa, navigating the intricacies of these cases with expertise.
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What is Fraud?
The most common white-collar crime in Ottawa is tax evasion or fraud. Most such crimes involve the theft of property or money.
This is detailed in the Criminal Code of Canada, which was amended in 2011 to include mandatory minimum sentences and other stipulations for people convicted of fraud.
The severity of the crime is determined by the value of what the victim or victims are defrauded of.
In Canada, this is divided into two categories:
- Fraud where the value is less than $5,000 (generally a summary offence)
- Fraud over the value of $5,000 (sometimes an indictable offence)
In each case, there may be “aggravating circumstances”, such as the level of harm caused and whether the public is targeted.
To be considered as criminal fraud, an activity must be shown to intentionally involve deceit or false representation.
This can be problematical for the Crown prosecution and provides experienced lawyers with an opportunity to challenge the evidence
What are examples of Fraud in Ontario?
Fraud in Ontario involves deliberately depriving someone of property, money, or services through deceit, defined in the Criminal Code of Canada. Unlike theft, fraud occurs when victims willingly give up belongings due to misrepresentation. Examples include:
- altering price tags,
- tax evasion,
- identity theft,
- bank fraud,
- insurance fraud,
- forgery, and
To face fraud charges, the Crown Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you fraudulently stole something, the complainant owns the item, and the deprivation was intentional under false pretenses. Additionally, they must establish your involvement, providing data on when and where the fraudulent activity occurred.
Your fraud defence lawyer will guide you through the criminal components of the charge, offering support during this challenging time. Learn more about fraud examples and defences in Ontario.
Fraud Criminal Code Section 380
Understanding Fraud laws in Canada is straightforward, with penalties determined by factors such as the offense’s value, planning sophistication, breach in trust, and the number and type of individuals involved. The offender’s criminal history is also considered. Harsher penalties are enforced for Fraud under aggravating circumstances.
Section 380 of the Criminal Code stipulates that committing fraud exceeding $5,000 is an indictable offense, carrying a maximum 14-year prison term. For amounts under $5,000, the offense is still indictable, with a maximum two-year prison term.
Section 380.1 outlines aggravating circumstances, encompassing complex planning, adverse effects on the economy, impact on a large number of people, lack of qualifications, evidence concealment, or destruction.
First-time minor offenders may qualify for Alternative Measures Programs, involving actions like compensating for losses, offering apologies, and performing community service. These programs signify an intention to make amends, fostering acknowledgment of wrongdoing and aiming for a more favorable resolution.
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With over 60 years of combined criminal defence experience between us, you can feel confident of receiving experienced counsel for the best way forward.
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What are the penalties for fraud charges in Ontario?
The penalties for a fraud conviction hinge on the magnitude of the crime, irrespective of whether it falls under the sub-group of under $5,000 or over $5,000.
Fraud under $5,000
For fraud under $5,000, typically treated as a summary conviction, consequences may include potential prison time, contingent on the circumstances and whether it’s a first offense. Even without prison, heavy fines and lasting damage to reputation can ensue, emphasizing the need for quality legal representation to mitigate future impact.
Fraud over $5,000
In cases of fraud over $5,000, treated as an indictable offense, expect a prison sentence scaled to the defrauded value, reaching a maximum of 14 years or a minimum of two years if the sum exceeds $1 million. Aggravating factors, such as magnitude, complexity, and impact on victims or the economy, can influence the sentence. Despite a sum over $5,000, the case may still proceed as a summary charge under certain circumstances.
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