If you're being investigated for or have already been charged with bank fraud, you should speak with an experienced criminal attorney right away. Bank fraud is a serious crime punishable by prison and/or possibly a huge sum of money for restitution. What is bank fraud? It is a violation of the law by falsifying information at a financial institution or using a bank account to embezzle or steal monies from a bank. It is also considered bank fraud if you over-evaluate property or securities for the purpose of obtaining more monies than normally allowed. Bank fraud may also include false loan applications, the use of non-existent collateral to obtain a loan, or the misuse of borrowed funds.
Bank fraud is considered a white collar crime in most instances because it is often committed by those inside the bank, such as loan officers, tellers, currency traders, etc. It can also be committed by those outside the banking industry in the form of stolen checks, forgery, credit card fraud, identity theft, Internet fraud, etc.
In bank fraud cases, the United States Attorney's Office will indict the accused, and this federal crime may be tried in certain state districts. Whether you are guilty or innocent of the bank fraud crime you're being accused of, a criminal lawyer in your area that specializes in bank fraud can help you determine the best way to move forward in your case. Don't walk this road alone; it's too serious not to speak with an attorney. Here are some tips to help you find a dependable criminal defense lawyer.
Look for a Local Attorney
It's important to be able to work with a local criminal defense attorney. You will likely have multiple meetings and will need to be able to visit your attorney whenever necessary to review new findings in your case. A local attorney knows about the local or district court systems, and can focus on your case - not on learning about local aspects of the courts. To find dependable local representation, search online using keywords specific to your area. Here are some key phrase examples: "Miami criminal lawyer," "Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney," "West Palm Beach criminal lawyer," or "Miami criminal attorney."
Interview Several Attorneys
It's difficult to know which criminal attorney is right for you without interviewing several. Most lawyers offer a free consultation. This gives you an opportunity to get to know the lawyer, his style, his views on your case, and his experience with bank fraud. Lawyers tend to specialize in one or two areas of criminal law. You should also make sure there are no personality conflicts. You should be able to speak openly with your attorney without arguments or negative feelings.
Ask about past experiences with similar cases of bank fraud. Consider a criminal lawyer that has defended others in similar cases successfully. This is a big plus because he's already experienced in this area and will be able to bring his past knowledge to the drawing table for your defense.
Credibility can be verified through referrals, an AV ranking (achieved only by a lawyer that's been admitted to the bar for at least 10 years), and the Better Business Bureau. It's important that you choose a criminal lawyer that's absolutely trustworthy with credentials to back up his integrity.
Never lie to your criminal attorney. This will only negate your defense. If your lawyer can't trust you, then certainly the judge will not trust you. It's important to divulge all information to your attorney up front to avoid nasty surprises on your court day. If there's information that could help you win the case that you need to verify, then by all means let your attorney know about it so he can help you obtain proper documentation to establish evidence in your defense. It's important that the line of communication remain open at all times so your criminal attorney can give you the best defense possible.
Whatever crime you've been accused of, the right criminal attorney can help you find an appropriate direction to take. You need guidance in a time like this...allow your legal right to representation work for you and not against you. Whether you live in West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, lawyers who are experienced in bank fraud cases are readily available to help you build a solid defense.