Please note that our services are tailored exclusively to individuals accused of criminal offences. We do NOT offer assistance or legal services for victims of ‘fraud’. If you’re facing charges related to fraud, our experienced team is here to help defend your rights and provide you with the best possible legal support

Affordable Fraud Defence Lawyers in Ottawa

Affordable Fraud Defence Lawyers in Ottawa

When the legal team at Affordable Defence takes charge of your criminal fraud case, you will benefit from the years of combined legal experience needed to defend your fraud charges and securing your freedom.

To prove guilt in a criminal fraud 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 legal defence when you have been charged with criminal fraud in Ottawa, helping you to navigate the intricacies of the criminal process.

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What is Fraud?

Criminal 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 criminal actions, such as breach of trust against an employer, credit and debit card fraud, defrauding financial institutions, defrauding a business, misrepresentation of legal documents, to name just a few examples of criminal fraud recognized in Ontario.

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 fraud charges 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 problematic for the Crown prosecution and provides experienced criminal 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:

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 pretences. 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 charges you are facing, while offering support during this challenging time, helping you understand your legal options while working to secure your freedom.

Fraud Criminal Code Section 380

Understanding Fraud laws in Canada is straightforward, with penalties determined by factors such as the offence’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 offence, carrying a maximum 14-year prison term. For amounts under $5,000, the offence 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.

What are defences to fraud in Ontario?

To effectively defend against fraud charges in Ontario, several key strategies can be employed. One potential defence is to demonstrate a lack of intent to defraud, showing that there was no deliberate intention to deceive or defraud. Another approach involves arguing that the alleged actions did not result in any actual loss or risk of loss to the complainant, challenging the fundamental requirement of deprivation in fraud cases. Additionally, if evidence was obtained unlawfully, such as through improper search warrants, it may be possible to argue for its exclusion from the case.

Seeking legal representation from Affordable Defence is crucial. With a proven track record in handling fraud cases, they can provide expert advice and representation tailored to your specific situation. Contact Affordable Defence today for a consultation to discuss your case and explore your defence options.

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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 subgroup 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 offence. 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 offence, 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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