Insurance Fraud

Insurance Fraud Attorney in San Diego

In California, insurance fraud is taken seriously. This category of crime involves lying to obtain insurance benefits or knowingly denying insurance benefits owed to someone else. Insurance fraud felony or misdemeanor charges can relate to any type of insurance, including health, auto, homeowners’ worker’s compensation, life, disability, or other insurance products. Convictions on insurance fraud charges can carry significant monetary penalties and years of prison time.

If you find yourself charged with insurance fraud, you need an experienced, knowledgeable insurance fraud lawyer on your side. As a San Diego insurance fraud defense lawyer, S&B Legal specializes in criminal defense. With decades of combined experience, our attorneys are passionate about protecting our clients’ rights and freedom.

Understanding Insurance Fraud

To convict someone of insurance fraud, the prosecution must show that the defendant knowingly acted to defraud an insurance company or individual and that the action was taken with an intent to defraud. Either an action or intent by itself is not insurance fraud; both elements must be present. However, the victim does not have to have suffered any monetary loss. If the prosecution can show that the defendant acted — and acted with intent to defraud — then they may be able to obtain a conviction.

As an insurance fraud defense attorney, S&B Legal helps defendants facing a wide range of insurance fraud charges. Some examples of the types of insurance fraud charges we defend individual clients against include:

  • Fabricated or staged car accidents for vehicle repairs or replacement
  • Staged auto theft in order to get a replacement
  • Fabricating or falsifying the severity of health issues to obtain disability or worker’s compensation benefits
  • Faking injuries after a motor vehicle accident
  • Committing arson to obtain homeowners’ insurance benefits
  • Claiming higher-than-actual auto repair expenses after an accident
  • Falsifying worker’s compensation claims

Insurance companies and healthcare professionals can also face insurance fraud charges and may need an insurance fraud lawyer. For example, hospitals and healthcare workers could be charged with fraud based on falsifying insurance claims submitted to health insurers. Insurance companies can be charged with insurance fraud if they wrongfully and intentionally deny benefits to an insured party.

Penalties for Insurance Fraud in California

While any type of insurance fraud charges should be taken seriously, the potential consequences of a conviction depend on which California law the state alleges you violated. Your insurance fraud attorney will help you understand the specifics of the charges you are facing.

In California, insurance fraud felony or misdemeanor charges typically involve one or more of these laws:

  • California Penal Code § 548(a). This law addresses willful damage or destruction of insured property by theft or embezzlement of insurance proceeds and carries penalties of up to five years of imprisonment and monetary fines of up to $50,000.
  • California Penal Code § 549. If you are charged under section 549, the state may be alleging that you solicited, accepted, or referred business to or from another person or business with the intent to defraud an insurance company. If convicted on these charges, you could face up to three years behind bars.
  • California Penal Code § 550. Section 550 of the California Penal Code can involve either insurance fraud felony or misdemeanor crimes. An insurance fraud defense lawyer can help you avoid being imprisoned for up to five years based on charges that you engaged in any of these activities:
    • Made a false insurance claim yourself or helped someone else commit insurance fraud
    • Intentionally filed one or more fraudulent health insurance claims
    • Fabricated information to support a fraudulent insurance claim
    • Staged or intentionally caused a motor vehicle accident to receive insurance proceeds
    • Made multiple insurance claims for the same loss or injury

Need an Insurance Fraud Lawyer? Choose S&B Legal!

If you’ve been charged with insurance fraud, there is simply too much at stake to leave your defense to chance. You need a skilled, knowledgeable insurance fraud attorney in your corner. Your insurance fraud lawyer will investigate the facts and circumstances of the state’s allegations, gather information and evidence to support you, and assert all available defenses on your behalf. If you’ve already been convicted of insurance fraud charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help fight to have the conviction expunged from your record.

What are the possible defenses to insurance fraud?

  1. Because insurance fraud convictions require both an act and an intent to defraud, your insurance fraud defense attorney may be able to prove that:
    You didn’t know what you were doing, so there was no fraudulent intent on your part.
  2. Your lawyer may argue that while intent may have been present, it wasn’t acted upon.
  3. That the state is mistaken about the facts and that no insurance fraud occurred.

When you choose S&B Legal as your criminal defense attorney to represent you against insurance fraud charges, you can be confident your defense is in capable hands. Both Joanne P. Sanchez and Lisbette J. Baltazar have significant experience handling all types of criminal defense cases in California, including insurance fraud defense.

Schedule your free case evaluation online today or contact us at (760) 302-4652 to speak to a knowledgeable insurance fraud attorney.

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