Utah Insurance Fraud Defense Attorney
Insurance is a part of everyday life for nearly all citizens of Utah and across America. For most of us, we have multiple forms of insurance, whether they be car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or many other types. While paying the monthly premium can seem to be a waste, it can be hugely beneficial if you face an unexpected loss, like a house fire. The large amounts of money available for some claims can give people an incentive to lie, but those that do can be charged with insurance fraud and face serious penalties.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our Utah insurance fraud defense attorneys have years of experience successfully defending clients charged with insurance fraud throughout the state. We understand how troubling and disorienting it can be to be charged with a crime, and our compassionate advocates will be there with you every step of the way to guide you through the process and fight for a successful resolution. For a free consultation, call our firm today at (801) 758-2287.
The Crime of Insurance Fraud in Utah
Insurance fraud can be committed in several different ways and by several different subsets of people. Fraud could be committed by insured individuals against their insurance companies, service providers like doctors against the insurance providers, and insurance providers against clients or service providers. For insured individuals, it occurs most commonly in one of two ways: lying on your application to obtain insurance or making a claim based on false or misleading information.
There are other ways that insurance fraud can be committed, however. For example, you can be charged with this crime even if you do not actually receive any money if you aid and abet someone else in committing insurance fraud. On the other hand, you can be charged if you knowingly receive money from an insurance fraud scheme even if you did not take part in its planning and execution.
Insurance providers can also be charged under this section for deceiving customers or not paying out claims that they are required to. Cases against insurance companies can be complex and can result in different types of penalties, such as losing your professional license. It is best to consult with an experienced insurance fraud defense lawyer like those at Overson Law, PLLC who can discuss the unique aspects of a case against an insurance providers. Service providers, such as doctor’s offices or radiology services, can also be charged under this section for claiming money owed from the insurance company for services of procedures that did not actually occur.
Penalties for Insurance Fraud in Utah
The penalties you could face for insurance fraud will depend on the particular circumstances surrounding your case, including how you commit the fraud, who you commit it against, and how much money is involved. For example, lying or misleading on an application in order to procure insurance is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. On the other hand, fraud involving making false claims is punishable by a tiered system dependent on how much was sought to be stolen in the fraudulent scheme.
If the value of the benefits sought or obtained through the fraud was $500 or less, the crime is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and fines up to $1,000. If the value of the benefits was more than $500 but less than $1,500, the charge will be a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties the same as those described above. If the value of the benefits was $1,500 or more but less than $5,000, the crime is a third-degree felony, with penalties including up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. Finally, for cases where the value was more than $5,000, you will be charged with a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Note that the language of the law states only that you must seek to obtain benefits through the fraud, not that you actually receive them. If your fraud is discovered before the money is actually paid out, you still face potential criminal liability under this section.
The Criminal Process for Insurance Fraud Charges in Utah
Unless you are issued a summons and released, which is unlikely for this crime, you will be arrested and taken to the local police station for the booking process. After you are booked, you will be taken to the holding cell or the local detention center where you will await your arraignment and bail hearing before a judge. The judge will have the option to deny you bail and detain you until the case is over, release you on your own recognizance, or without bail, or set bail. Our bail hearing attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC can work to get you released quickly with little to no bail imposed.
After this, we will assess the evidence and begin discussing a potential plea deal with the prosecutor. If you have no prior criminal history, we may be able to get you into a pre-trial diversion program. If you complete this program successfully, your charges will be dropped and you will not have a criminal record. If the prosecutor is not willing to offer pre-trial diversion, we can try to work out a deal where the charges are downgraded or you agree to plead guilty in exchange for the prosecutor recommending a more lenient sentence. If you do not wish to accept a deal, we are ready and able to fight for your innocence at trial.
Call Our Experienced Utah Insurance Fraud Defense Attorneys Today
A conviction for insurance fraud can lead to serious penalties like jail time and hefty fines, especially for fraud schemes involving large amounts of money. Furthermore, a conviction for fraud could make it difficult for you to geta a job in many industries where trust is a key, and in some cases, you could even face losing a professional license. At Overson Law, PLLC, our seasoned Utah insurance fraud defense attorneys will fight to get your charges downgraded or dismissed and to clear your good name. Call us today at (801) 758-2287 for a free consultation.