Although a wide array of fraud is prosecuted in the federal and state criminal court systems, fraud can also be handled as a civil issue. In cases where a scheme or deception was used for someone’s gain, alleged victims can file lawsuits to compensate them for money or other losses they incurred as a result of the fraud. If you are sued for civil fraud, you will need a defense attorney who can represent you aggressively.
What You Need To Know About Civil Fraud
Civil fraud covers a very broad range of situations where fraud was involved.
The goal in the civil court system is to restore the victim to the circumstances they were in before the fraud occurred, as well as punish the person who perpetrated the fraud.
Federal civil court handles disputes between two opposing parties. To begin the lawsuit, a plaintiff will file a complaint with the court. Then the defendant will be served with the complaint.
The plaintiff will probably seek money to compensate them for the losses they incurred due to the alleged fraud.
If the case is not settled earlier, it will proceed to trial. In most instances either side can ask for a jury trial. If they both waive their rights to a jury, the case can be heard by a federal judge without a jury present (known as a bench trial).
To prove fraud took place, the attorney representing the plaintiff will try to prove:
- The defendant misrepresented facts
- The defendant knew the facts were false but they misrepresented them intentionally
- The plaintiff was justified in relying on the scenario presented by the defendant
- The plaintiff suffered an actual loss or injury based on the scheme put forth by the defendant
You can be sued for civil fraud as well as being tried in the criminal court system.
If you are sued for civil fraud, you will not face prison as you would for criminal fraud. However if you lose the lawsuit, you may have to pay restitution to the victim as well as a large fine.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are sued in federal civil court for fraud, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect you. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.