False Pretenses Criminal Defense Attorneys in Michigan
A zealous and vigorous defense of False Pretenses charges in Michigan begins by finding the law firm that knows how to show that what has been charged as a crime is often just a simple mistake which has no illegal intention. We know how to prove that, and we do it every day.
Fraud-based crimes such as false pretenses are frequently in the news and prosecutors want to show the public that they are serious about cracking down on it. The laws covering false pretenses carry heavy jail penalties, years of probation, and huge fines. However, if you have a savvy and experienced attorney at your side, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed or reduced. In many cases, judges can be convinced not to impose any jail at all.
Judges admit that it is sometimes difficult to determine if an act is larceny or false pretenses. That can be to your advantage, in that there is room to argue that the facts of a case do not exactly meet the definition of false pretenses and the case should be dismissed. Being able to do that is the difference between average attorneys and the best attorneys.
What is the crim of False Pretenses?
A “Pretense” is defined as an attempt to make something that is not true appear to be true, or to make a false claim. It is an implied misrepresentation or conduct intended to create a false impression. False pretenses differ from simple larceny because with larceny, the owner has no intention to part with the property. In the case of false presences, the owner does intend to part with the property, but intends to do so because they have been tricked.
An example of false pretenses is as follows: An art dealer tells you that based on his expertise and examination, he estimates a painting you own is worth $100.00 because it is a reproduction, not an original. You rely on the dealer’s appraisal and sell it to the dealer for $100.00. However, the art dealer knew all along it was an original painting and its worth was $100,000.00.
Penalties for False Pretenses
The penalties for this offense are stepped-up depending on the value of the property obtained. As you will see, the law takes this offense very seriously. As a starting point, only certain types of actions and property are covered by the law. They are as follows.
Once the type of action and property has been determined to fit the statute, the penalty depends on the value of property obtained by the false pretense. The penalty steps are as follows:
- Value of property is less than $200.00: 93-day misdemeanor and a $500.00 fine or 3 times the value of the value, whichever is greater;
- Value of the property is $200.00-$1,000.00: 1-year misdemeanor and a $2,000.00 fine or 3 times the value, whichever is greater;
- Value of the property is $1,000.00-$20,000.00: 5-year felony and $10,000.00 fine or three times the value, whichever is greater;
- Value of the property is $20,000.00-$50,000.00: 15-year felony and a $15,000.00 fine or 3 times the value of the property, whichever is greater;
- Value of the property is $50,000.00-$100,000.00: 15-year felony and a $25,000.000 fine or 3 times the value, whichever is greater;
- Value of the property is over $100,000: 20-year felony and a $35,000.00 fine or 3 times the value of the property, whichever is greater.
Increased jail or prison is permitted under the law if someone has prior convictions for false pretenses. The statute is quite complicated, and only the most seasoned and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers should be retained to defend these charges.
Criminal Defense Law Firm Handling False Pretenses Cases
If you face a False Pretenses charge, there is hope for you and all is not lost. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience in all areas of criminal law, including False Pretenses cases. We have an outstanding reputation for achieving dismissals or very favorable resolutions to cases for our clients.
The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.