When it comes to public agencies, it’s important to have complete transparency. Whether it’s financial records or other business records, agencies realize they must appear trustworthy in order to keep the public trust. However, there are times when those who work in public agencies push trust to the side and instead look for ways to pocket more money. When they do this, numerous problems can occur. Not only is public trust compromised, but the agency itself can be put in a very difficult position. If you are the person being alleged to having offered a false instrument for filing, having a lawyer who understands the twists and turns of these cases can make a tremendous difference when determining the outcome.
What is Offering a False Instrument for Filing?
Dealing with written instruments filed with a public office, offering a false instrument for filing is considered one of the most serious of white-collar crimes. Having the opportunity to impact a person’s career and freedom, it’s a crime that should not be taken lightly. Viewed by prosecutors and law enforcement agencies as a violation of the public trust, this can result in serious charges being levied against those who allegedly committed these acts. If you are the person accused of offering a false instrument for filing, retaining a lawyer who has vast experience in these matters is a must. Not only can they advise you as to what may happen every step of the way, but they can also act as a buffer between you and prosecutors, who are usually very eager for a conviction to show they are successful in fighting corruption.
Penalties for Offering a False Instrument for Filing
As with the majority of white-collar crimes, the penalties associated with this crime can be harsh. If there was a deliberate attempt to defraud, it is considered a Class E felony that is punishable by up to four years in prison. If an intent to defraud is not evident, the crime is classified as a second-degree Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail. Along with being charged with this crime, you may also find yourself charged with other related crimes including grand larceny, securities fraud, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records. Regardless of what you are charged with, it will be crucial to have an attorney who can plan a defense strategy that will give you a greater chance of being acquitted. In many cases, prosecutors may have a difficult time meeting their burden of proof due to the complicated nature of explaining confusing financial concepts, which can present a window of opportunity for an experienced defense attorney. By being able to raise doubt within the minds of a judge or those on a jury, it may be possible to find yourself cleared of all charges or receiving a much lighter sentence for anything you would be convicted of doing along the way.
While being charged with this crime can be very serious and stressful, the good news is that there are a number of successful defenses that have been used by defense attorneys over the years. For example, the lack of intent to defraud can result in an acquittal or having charges greatly reduced. In addition, a mental health defense has also proven effective in some cases, with lawyers successfully proving the person accused of being under extreme stress that resulted in a mental deficiency while on the job. While it certainly cannot be counted on to work in all cases, an experienced offering a false instrument for filing lawyer can examine medical records as well as past and present behavior to mount a strong defense.
The Importance of an Attorney
While in some cases the charges associated with this crime may not appear extremely serious, there is no doubt prosecutors view the situation much differently. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the charges, prosecutors will do everything possible to gain a conviction. To ensure you are able to withstand this barrage, hire an attorney who has knowledge and experience in this area. By doing so, you will have a solid defense strategy that will ensure your constitutional rights are fully protected.