Salt Lake City Insurance Fraud Defense Lawyer
Most people in Salt Lake City have multiple different forms of insurance at any one time. These could include life insurance, home insurance, car insurance, earthquake insurance, fire insurance, small business insurance, and much more. While making that monthly insurance payment can often seem like a huge pain bringing you no real benefits, you are likely to feel differently if something happens and you need to file an insurance claim to recover your losses. However, if you are tempted into claiming insurance money to which you are not actually entitled, you could face serious penalties including fines and jail time.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our skilled Salt Lake City insurance fraud defense lawyers have years of experience fighting for our clients accused of this charge. We will work to get your charges downgraded or dismissed and to bring your case to a satisfactory resolution. For a free consultation, call our office today at (801) 758-2287.
The Criminal Charge of Insurance Fraud in Salt Lake City
Generally speaking, people who commit insurance fraud can be split into three categories: the insured individual, the insurance company, and service providers, such as doctors who bill to insurance companies. There are a great number of different ways that an individual who is insured can commit insurance fraud. One of the most common is simply providing false or misleading information to the insurance company, whether it be on an application, in a claim made, in a phone call to an agent, or in a civil proceeding.
Aiding, soliciting, or conspiring with another person to commit insurance fraud, as well as accepting a benefit from insurance fraud proceeds, are also acts that could get you charged with insurance fraud. This means that even if you simply assist someone else with their fraudulent scheme and do not receive any benefit under it, you can still be charged with this crime. Alternatively, if you accept a benefit from an insurance fraud scheme, you can be charged with this crime even if you did not take part in its planning or execution.
As noted above, insurance providers and service providers who bill the insurance companies can also be charged under this section. Service providers can be charged similarly to insured individuals if they bill the insurance company for fraudulent charges, such as procedures they did not actually perform. Insurers can be charged if they intentionally withhold information or provide false or misleading information regarding an application, coverage, benefits, or claims. Cases against insurers accused of fraud are typically more complex and can result in steeper penalties, including loss of your professional license. As such, insurers charged with this crime should contact an experienced insurance fraud defense attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC right away to discuss the particulars of their case.
Penalties for Insurance Fraud in Salt Lake City
The potential penalties you can face for insurance fraud will vary depending on several factors, mainly the amount of money involved in the fraud and the type of fraud perpetuated. For fraud made in the application for an insurance policy, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. For fraud involving deception of the insurance company, whether it be by the insured individual or a service provider, there is a tiered system depending on how much money was sought through fraudulent activity.
For cases where the value of the benefits sought or obtained was $500 or less, violators will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. For cases where the value was more than $500 but less than $1,500, the charge will be a Class A misdemeanor, punishable as described above. If the value of the benefits sought or obtained was $1,500 or more but less than $5,000, the charge is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. For cases where the value is $5,000 or more, you face a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
One final thing to note is that the law makes no distinction between fraudulent claims that are actually paid out and fraudulent claims that are filed but flagged as fraudulent before being paid out. As such, you can be charged with this crime even if you never received the money you sought, so long as you made fraudulent claims in writing or orally to the insurance company.
How an Insurance Fraud Case Plays Out in Salt Lake City
Unless you are issued a summons with a court date and released, which is usually reserved for infractions rather than misdemeanors or felonies like this charge, you will be arrested and brought to the local police station for the booking process. After you are booked, you will be held in jail until your bail hearing. At this hearing, a judge will decide whether to release you on your own recognizance, hold you without bail until the underlying matter is resolved, or set bail. Our experienced bail hearing attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC will work to get your hearing scheduled as quickly as possible and to get you released on minimal or no bail.
After making sure you are released, we will begin working on negotiating a potential deal with the prosecutor. If you have no prior criminal history, we may be able to get you into a pre-trial diversion program, where your charges are dropped upon successful completion. Otherwise, we can try to get the charges downgraded. If necessary, we are ready and able to fight for your innocence at trial.
Call Our Salt Lake City Insurance Fraud Defense Lawyers Today
Insurance fraud is taken very seriously by the authorities and the companies that are being defrauded. If you are caught, you could face serious penalties including high fines and long jail sentences. At Overson Law, PLLC, our experienced Salt Lake City insurance fraud defense lawyers will fight to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. We will be there with you every step of the way throughout this process. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 758-2287.