What is considered Auto Insurance Fraud in California?
What is considered Auto Insurance Fraud in California? According to the California Penal Code, automobile insurance fraud is an act of criminal fraud, but one that concerns the insuring of a car. While there are some obvious forms of fraud, the most common examples of auto insurance fraud include knowingly putting forth an auto insurance claim for damage, destruction, or theft of a vehicle that is fraudulent, causing a car accident just to fraudulently collect the auto insurance proceeds, damaging your vehicle so that you can collect a car insurance paycheck, and presenting false information in an oral or written statement for an insurance claim.
What are some potential legal defenses?
With the help of an experienced attorney, you can fight the charges or seek to have them reduced. Some possible legal defenses include arguing that the defendant’s actions were not made with a fraudulent intent, and therefore, do not meet the conditions of fraud (there must have been an intent to defraud). Along with the previous defense, an attorney could possibly argue that there is insufficient evidence for the claims of fraud to stand up in court.
What are the penalties if convicted?
First of all, if you are accused of having committed an act of auto insurance fraud, immediately seek the counsel of an experienced attorney, like those at the Law Advocate Group, LLP. The charges are not light – most are considered felonies. If convicted on a felony charge, the penalties include a minimum of 16 months to five years in a prison facility, along with the payment of a fine of up to $50,000. However, some crimes may not be classified as felonies. These wobbler crimes, if downgraded to a misdemeanor, carry a sentence of up to one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.