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Public Assistance Fraud

Criminal Defense Lawyers Defending The Residents Of Sarasota

The State of Florida along with the Federal Government provides a myriad of aid services to lower income residents who cannot afford basic necessities. The food stamp program helps people purchase necessary nutrition for themselves and their families. The state provides subsidized daycare to working parents who cannot afford today’s skyrocketing daycare prices. And Medicaid offers free health insurance to families who struggle financially. These programs are understandably massive and have several bureaucratic offices within the state and require a huge amount of resources. The state also expends huge tax dollars to fund and operate these programs.

The State also expends a ton of resources on tracking down and prosecuting people that they believe are trying to take advantage of these public assistance benefits. Public Assistance Fraud has consistently been one of the most common first time felony charges in the State of Florida. Public assistance fraud has become such a common charge because frankly, so many people get away with it. People apply for public assistance on a mostly honor based system. This results in an easy to abuse program where public assistance money can go to anyone who simply lies on their application. In order to determine who is really qualified for assistance, the authorities often need to launce a months long investigation. If you are under investigation for public assistance fraud, it is important that you contact a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending clients involved in public assistance investigations.

Public Assistance Fraud Elements

Pursuant to Florida Statute 414.39, a person is guilty of public assistance fraud if he or she knowingly Fails, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose a material fact used in making a determination as to such person’s qualification to receive public assistance under any state or federally funded assistance program; Fails to disclose a change in circumstances in order to obtain or continue to receive any such public assistance to which he or she is not entitled or in an amount larger than that to which he or she is entitled; or Aids and abets another person in the commission of any such act.

If you have ever applied for public assistance benefits, you likely can identify areas in which fraud or misrepresentation could be made. The public assistance application site requires self reporting of income, loss of income and other information. Sometimes, people who temporarily lose income simply choose not to report when they begin working again. After receiving significant money and benefits from the government, it can be difficult to turn that money away voluntarily. Others try to conceal the income from spouses or other household members as it would disqualify them from receiving public assistance. No matter the specific allegations, it is crucial that you speak to a Sarasota public assistance criminal defense attorney as soon as you can.

Simply looking at the letter of the law ignores some of the biggest issues when dealing with Public Assistance fraud cases. Here at Hanlon Law, we address all of our cases with compassion and respect and understand our clients’ concerns. When looking at public assistance matters, it is often quite clear that those charged with the crime really needed the government benefits to survive. The cutoff from qualification to not qualifying for public assistance is often a shockingly low number. And when the difference between receiving needed medical care or childcare is five or ten extra dollars of income, who can blame the people who don’t report that to the Department of Children and Families. Nonetheless, the State of Florida will zealously fight to get their money back, and you need a skilled Sarasota Criminal defense lawyer to protect you from the government.

Speak to Our Lawyers Today

If you have been charged with or are under investigation for Public Assistance Fraud, the lawyers at Hanlon Law are available to consult with you today. Call us 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