Maryland fraud crimes can result in serious penalties, even for relatively small dollar values. A bad check or credit card fraud of only $501 could result in a sentence of up to fifteen years, and being permanently branded as a felon. Forgery of a check for even $1 is a felony with a sentence of up to 10 years. Even if you avoid a lengthy sentence, having a felony conviction impacts your right to vote and your right to own a gun, and can make it very difficult to find housing or employment. I can help make sure that these serious potential consequences never occur.
Maryland fraud crimes are often tiered based on value, and they tend to be similar across categories. For instance, the penalties for various categories of fraud of the same value with a credit card and a check are, speaking generally, very similar. For fraud crimes with a dollar amount, if you are charged on a value of under $100, the maximum sentence is 90 days imprisonment, and a fine. If you are charged on a value of under $500, the maximum sentence is 18 months, and a fine. Both of these are misdemeanors. If the value is more than $500, the crime is a felony, with a sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $1,000. There are some exceptions to the above, but for fraud crimes where punishment is based upon a dollar value, the punishments are tiered roughly as shown.
While there are separate and very different penalties for fraud crimes with a value of less than $100 and a value of less than $500, they are not mutually exclusive. A one dollar item has a value of less than $500, and it also has a value of less than $100. This gives the prosecutor the discretion to charge either crime where the fraud has a value of under $100, potentially resulting in very different sentences depending on how that discretion is exercised.
People view a conviction for fraud related offenses as a strong indication that you cannot be trusted. Convictions for these crimes can have a very severe negative impact on your career and on your life. A conviction for any of these crimes will often cause you to lose any professional licenses or security clearances that you may have, and can make it incredibly difficult to find or keep a job. Since convictions for these crimes are viewed so much more negatively than many other crimes with similar sentences, credit card fraud, bad checks, and other fraud related crimes can be particularly dangerous to your future.
If you’ve been charged for bad checks, credit card fraud, theft, fraud, or any similar offense, you need a lawyer to vigorously defend your rights and your future earning power. Call (301) 556-8709 today so that we can get to work on your case.