Georgia’s fraud laws and penalties

Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Georgia’s Fraud Laws

In today’s advanced technological age, fraud can mean many things. Georgia law considers several independent crimes under the umbrella of fraud, including forgery, deposit fraud, credit card fraud, and identity fraud. The legal definition of fraud is “using deceitful or dishonest means to get something of value”. This definition is quite broad, and encompasses a number of degrees of crime and associated penalties that are often strict and severe. Read on for a list of the most common fraud crimes and examples of the possible penalties if a conviction is obtained.

Georgia Fraud Laws

Forgery – Georgia law has two separate classifications of forgery, both of which are felony offenses. The differences are as follows:

  • Forgery in the 1st Degree – Forgery in the 1st degree occurs when an individual attempts to use, or is successful in using documents that are altered, created, or fictitious with the intent of making someone else believe that they are something else.
  • Forgery in the 2nd Degree – Forgery in the 2nd degree occurs when an individual alters, creates, or possesses a document with the intent to make someone else believe that it was created by someone else or at a different time. Forgery in the 2nd degree is a lesser offense.

If convicted of forgery, the defendant will be subject to fines that are variable depending on the individual situation. Additionally, the defendant may be subject to incarceration in prison A conviction of forgery in the 1st degree is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Forgery in the 2nd degree is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Deposit Fraud (bad checks) – Deposit fraud is a common crime in Georgia, and most often occurs when someone uses a check at a retail location knowing that the account is closed, or that there is insufficient funds to cover the amount. The penalties for deposit fraud vary depending on the value of the check, as follows:

  • $100 or less – A misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to one year in prison
  • $100-$300 - A misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison
  • $300-$499 – An aggravated misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to one year in prison
  • $500 or more - A felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to three years in prison
  • Out of state – Any valuation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to five years in prison

Credit Card Fraud – Credit card fraud is an easy crime to get away with. Many retailers fail to compare signatures or photographs of the individual, or the driver’s license or identification information against the card. In Georgia, these behaviors are illegal, and are subject to felony charges and strict penalties if convicted. A conviction of credit card fraud is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to three years in prison.

Identity Fraud – Identity fraud can occur in many ways, including the unlawful use of another person’s social security number, identifying material, or other fraudulent or fictitious information. Identity fraud is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 for a first offense or $250,000 for a second or subsequent offense. Additionally, a conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison for a first offense, and 15 years in prison for any additional offenses.

Get Help with Your Fraud Case

If you want to avoid a permanent record of fraud allegations, call Abt Law Firm, LLC right now at 1-800-NOJAIL-9 (1-800-665-2459). We will schedule a free consultation of your case and get you the help you need to fight fraud charges.

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