What to Expect If You Are Accused of Insurance Fraud in the Lone Star State
Few people realize that they can face jail time for lying on an insurance application or making a false claim. The State of Texas harshly prosecutes all forms of insurance fraud including putting false or misleading information on any insurance documents. If you are accused of insurance fraud, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options.
At Maverick Ray & Associates, we represent individuals who have been accused of insurance fraud and other white-collar crimes. Our lawyers aggressively defend the rights of our clients, always working to protect their reputation and their freedom. If you have been arrested for or charged with insurance fraud, contact our office at (281) 947-2007 to schedule a free consultation.
What Is Insurance Fraud?
According to the Texas Penal Code, insurance fraud occurs when a person knowingly submits a statement or documents to an insurer that contains “false or misleading material information” or if they file a claim after receiving a benefit related to the issue.
Common examples of insurance fraud include:
- Claiming an item was lost or stolen when it was not;
- Filing a claim after intentionally damaging a vehicle or property;
- Faking an injury or illness;
- Lying on your insurance application;
- Embellishing damages;
- Committing arson to obtain an insurance payout;
- Double billing; and
- Filing a fake disability claim.
While white-collar crimes such as insurance fraud are extremely serious, some defenses may arise in your case. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney to determine how to fight the charges you face. Without the help of an attorney, you could end up facing the maximum penalties including substantial jail time.
What Are the Penalties for Insurance Fraud?
Insurance fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the claim.
- If the value of the claim is under $100, the matter may be charged as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- If the value of the claim is $100 or more but under $750, the matter may be charged as a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $2,000.
- If the value of the claim is $750 or more but under $2,500, the matter may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $4,000.
- If the value of the claim is $2,500 or more but under $30,000, the matter may be charged as a state jail felony punishable by six months to two years in state jail and a fine of $10,000.
- If the value of the claim is $30,000 or more but under $150,000, the matter may be charged as a felony of the third degree punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
- If the value of the claim is $150,000 or more but under $300,000 the matter may be charged as a felony of the second degree punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000/
- If the value of the claim is $300,000 or more or connected with an act that placed a person at risk of death or serious bodily injury, the matter may be charged as a first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison (or life) and a fine of up to $10,000.
Individuals who falsify an insurance application may be convicted of a state jail felony. Due to the severity of the charges, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney even if you are only being investigated for insurance fraud.
Charged with Insurance Fraud in Houston? Contact Our Office.
If you have been charged with insurance fraud in Houston or the surrounding areas, contact our office at (281) 947-2007 to schedule a free consultation.