Accused Of Insurance Fraud? 2 Reasons You Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer

When many people think of insurance fraud, they often don't view it as a crime. Rather, they tend to view insurance fraud as telling a little white lie rather than committing a "white collar crime." Insurance fraud can be committed by both the insured and the supposed insurance company.

When it comes to the insured being accused of insurance fraud, it is oftentimes just a matter of a simple misunderstanding. After all, insurance forms and claims can be extremely confusing. Auto and home insurance fraud cases are handled by the state. In the case of health insurance fraud, which can be even more confusing, this falls under federal jurisdiction, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation oversees fraudulent claims. If you have been accused of insurance fraud, it is imperative you seek expert legal counsel to help you. Here are two things you should know.

1. The Government Must Prove Intent

In order to convict you of insurance fraud, the state or federal government must prove you intentionally set out to defraud either your insurance agency or the federal government's insurance programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid. Penalties can be steep, and they can include financial penalties as well as punitive penalties that result in jail or prison time. Prosecutors must show you were trying to purposely cheat someone or cheat the system. They can't just lobby accusations.

Many charges of insurance fraud are eventually dismissed when a defendant and his or her attorney show up in court to face the charges. This is because prosecutors often cannot adequately prove intent on the part of the defendant. If you are innocent of the charges, it's easy to think you won't need legal representation because you're not guilty. However, it is the innocent who need the most protection as it's not uncommon for prosecutors to use scare tactics in an attempt to cut a deal.

2. Your Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

Everyone knows that it's not uncommon for an insurance company to do everything in their power to avoid paying out on a claim. Unfortunately, that can include the unethical move of going so far as to accuse the claimant of insurance fraud, especially if there is the slightest deviation of the reported facts. Frivolously accusing someone of a crime without having proof, especially if it's a tactic to avoid paying a legitimate claim, isn't fair, and it's not good business practice.

It may even be illegal if you can prove if the accusation wasn't made in good faith. A criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in insurance fraud can help you fight these unfair charges as well as alert the legal authorities and the insurance industry's governing agencies to the counter-fraud.