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Prefiling Public Assistance Fraud Cases

Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyers Defeinding Your Constitutional Rights

As the income and wealth divide grows wider and wider in America, it has become painfully clear the side that our own government is taking. As we pay heavy taxes and seemingly get fewer and fewer benefits, our State and Federal government agencies go out of their way to subsidize big businesses and bail out failed financial institutions. All the while, those same government institutions, those that are supposed to be there to serve the people, seek out and punish those in our society who are the most vulnerable and least able to fend for themselves. The legislature has made many crimes out of being poor and the crime of public assistance fraud is just one of them.

If you receive public assistance from the government, or if you have been denied that assistance, then you know how low the threshold to receive benefits is. You know that you must be in nearly abject poverty to receive even basic assistance. And you know that if you had to make the choice between making more money or taking public assistance, you would likely have to choose the public assistance or risk losing needed child care or health insurance. Many people threatened with losing public assistance will take drastic measures, both legal and illegal to ensure that they continue to receive the benefits that their families rely on. If you are one of these people, and are under investigation for public assistance benefit fraud, you should contact a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to assist you as soon as possible.

Prefiling Public Assistance Fraud Procedures

Public assistance fraud is a criminal offense laid out under Florida Statute 414.39. Under the statute, if a person makes a false statement, misrepresentation or impersonation on their application for public assistance benefits, he or she can be charged with the felony offense of public assistance fraud. Public assistance fraud typically a third degree felony but can be enhanced to a higher level offense depending on the amount of money involved in the fraudulent application. Many times the prosecution will seek the return of all of the money and the value of the benefits received.

For many people, public assistance fraud charges are their first introduction to the criminal justice system. We receive calls from people under investigation all the time that are afraid of the potential of ending up in jail or stuck with serious criminal charges. And we also hear from people who were arrested on warrants with no warning. Both situations illustrate the importance of retaining a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

One of the biggest concerns we hear from potential clients is the fear of being arrested. Public assistance fraud investigations can span months and sometimes years. Investigators can and will show up to your home and place of business, and if they submit your case to the state attorneys office, a warrant can be issued for your arrest without your knowledge. Often, sheriffs will show up to your home in the middle of the night and in front of your family to execute that warrant. People who contact us first can often avoid that terrifying situation. We focus on allowing our clients to make their own destiny. In some circumstances, we are able to negotiate dismissals or resolutions with prosecutors before they even file their cases. In other cases, we are able to monitor the issuance of warrants and ensure that our clients turn themselves in on their own terms and that they are set up with a competent bondsman before doing so.

Speak to Our Lawyers Today

Consulting with an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer can sometimes make all the difference on your case. You should never speak to a police officer or investigator without your attorney being present. If you are under investigation, call us today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help... Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse