Being accused of fraud is a serious matter, partly because a conviction can lead to time in prison and might impact your ability to continue to hold the job you have. There are many types of fraud that can occur, so it is imperative that you are always on the lookout for the possibility that something you do might be construed in this manner.
One of the things that you should know about this type of activity is that it can lead to criminal charges, as well as civil actions. It is possible to face legal cases in both courts, depending on the circumstances of the crime. The standard for both of these is different.
In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime. The burden of proof is much lower in a civil case. The results of these types of cases are also different. For example, a criminal court can sentence you to incarceration, but a civil court can’t do that. Both courts can order monetary penalties.
Another thing to remember regarding fraud is that your actions must be done purposefully. You have to actively take steps to defraud someone of something to be convicted of this charge. This is why it is imperative that you are careful about how your actions might be perceived.
You also need to remember that you should get started on your defense strategy immediately if you find out you are facing a fraud charge. These white collar crimes sometimes have a lot of evidence in the form of paper trails. Going through this so you can plan your defense strategy can take time.