The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties – Insurance fraud affects both the innocent and the guilty. Investigating insurance fraud is very expensive. When insurance companies raise their rates, it can often be attributed to the time and money spent investigating and prosecuting false insurance claims.

Insurance fraud is a serious crime, and New Jersey has some of the strictest insurance fraud laws in the nation. Anyone accused of defrauding an insurance company in New Jersey should know that the case will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted. In fact, the government has set up a special office that deals specifically with the prosecution of insurance fraud cases. It is known as the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties

The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties

For these reasons, anyone charged with insurance fraud in New Jersey needs the help of a qualified defense attorney.

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According to New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice 2C:21-4.6, insurance fraud occurs when someone knowingly omits a material fact or makes a false or misleading statement to an insurance company. In this state, insurance fraud is a felony and is considered a third degree felony. Many cases of insurance fraud can be a second-degree felony with even more severe penalties.

When a claim is made, any information given in the application itself or after that which misleads the insurance company in order to collect insurance money or renew insurance is considered fraud.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction across most of New Jersey and other parts of the East Coast. This means that insurance companies had to process millions of claims from homeowners, many of which contained false or misleading claims. Contractors also took advantage of the storm’s aftermath by targeting unsuspecting homeowners and exaggerating the amount of damage on insurance claims.

As of April 2020, more than 730,000 New Jersey residents were collecting unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 shutdown. It is inevitable that some individuals will claim to be unemployed when in reality they may be doing some odd jobs on the side. Falsely receiving unemployment benefits in New Jersey can also expose a person to insurance fraud charges.

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Most cases of insurance fraud are third degree felonies in New Jersey. Those convicted can face up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.

Those who commit five or more insurance frauds totaling more than $1,000 can be charged with a second-degree felony. A conviction can mean up to 10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.

In addition to these penalties, a person can be ordered to repay the fraudulently obtained money.

The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties

Insurance fraud can occur with respect to any type of insurance, including auto, health, life, workers’ compensation, homeowner’s, and Medicaid or Medicare insurance. Types of fraud include:

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Misunderstandings and errors in paperwork can lead to insurance fraud charges. While these mistakes may be innocent, they can still lead to a conviction without the help of an attorney.

To defeat insurance fraud charges, one must demonstrate that the alleged errors are true and accurate. Alternatively, efforts could be made to correct the errors made by the accused.

In other cases, an attorney may try to suppress evidence and prevent it from being used in court. For example, if any evidence is obtained without the defendant’s consent or warrant, it can be barred from being presented to a jury. This would make it difficult for the prosecution to fully prove its case – remember that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, it may be possible to present exculpatory evidence, meaning evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s claims.

It is important to realize that even if they are innocent, the best course of action may still be to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a lesser offense. In such cases, the goal is to minimize or eliminate incarceration, as well as to reduce the potential impact on current or future employment.

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Any criminal conviction can have a negative impact on one’s employment prospects. Although not a violent crime, insurance fraud is a crime that reflects negatively on a person’s honesty and trustworthiness. Hiring managers may think twice about whether the person can be trusted to take money to a cash register, valuable equipment or merchandise, or to fill out paperwork correctly and honestly.

To avoid this, a person should hire a qualified criminal defense attorney to reduce the chances of a conviction. This can be done by enrolling in a diversion program, negotiating to reduce the charges to a lesser offense (plea agreement), or beating the charges at trial.

Although it is a crime, insurance fraud is a felony. This means that a person could potentially have the conviction removed from their criminal record. Keep in mind that the removal process is not easy and there are many disqualifying factors.

The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties

For example, a person can only have one misdemeanor (also called an indictable offense) conviction on their record before applying for deportation. In addition, you may not have more than three indiscretions.

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It is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney before attempting to expunge your criminal record. An attorney will be able to assess whether a person’s record qualifies or ineligible to apply. A lawyer can also help with the paperwork, ensure that all necessary documents are available and, in cases where this is required, attend a hearing before a judge about the case.

If an insurer or prosecutor has reason to believe that text messages can prove their case of fraud against an individual, they can be authorized to review them. If the police, prosecutors, or insurance company do not follow proper procedures for receiving text messages, they do not have to be provided.

It is best to avoid talking to insurance adjusters after an accident. Fortunately, most insurance adjusters aren’t looking to “catch” cases of insurance fraud – they’re usually looking for an excuse to lower the claim amount (which is also bad). However, if a difficult hearing by the insurance regulator leads to a charge of insurance fraud, an attorney experienced in such cases can try to uncover the “evidence” used to support the charge.

Even just misrepresenting an insurance claim can sometimes lead to a criminal investigation. You must remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and that the prosecution must prove their case before they can be convicted.

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A skilled defense attorney may be able to find holes in the prosecution’s case and weaken the case against you. Hiring the right attorney to provide a strong legal defense is critical to defeating the charges, especially at the beginning of any criminal investigation.

If you or someone you love is facing insurance fraud in New Jersey, contact Rosenblum Law for help. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have helped many people in similar situations. Email Rosenblum Law or call 888-815-3694 today for a free consultation about your case.

Adam is the founding attorney and principal of Rosenblum Law. With more than two decades of legal experience in many areas of legal practice, his main focus is on law firm management and business development.

The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties

Rosenblum Law is committed to delivering informative content of the highest quality. All content is subject to our strict editorial standards of relevance, accuracy, source and objectivity. Everything is checked by an editor and reviewed for legality by one of our staff lawyers before publication.

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Adam H. Rosenblum (7 February 2013). Insurance fraud in New Jersey – N.J.S.A 2C:21-4.6. Rosenblum Law Firm, https:///our-services/criminal-defense/insurance-fraud-in-new-jersey/

Adam H. Rosenblum “Insurance Fraud in New Jersey – N.J.S.A 2C:21-4.6”. Rosenblum Law Firm, February 7, 2013. https:///our-services/criminal-defense/insurance-fraud-in-new-jersey/Automobile insurance fraud is when a person knowingly makes a false insurance claim, or otherwise deceives an insurance company, in order to receive benefits to which he is not legally entitled. Insurance fraud is generally charged as a felony in California and carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

But some types of auto insurance fraud — such as preparing or submitting false statements, or the forms committed by representatives of companies or car dealerships — are California wobblers, meaning they can be charged with either misdemeanors or felonies.

Possible criminal sentences for vehicle insurance fraud range from sixteen (16) months to five (5) years. Fines can go up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or twice the amount of the fraud (whichever is greater).

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Auto insurance fraud as a misdemeanor carries a potential county jail term of up to one (1) year and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).

If you are charged with auto insurance fraud in California, you may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed by arguing one of the following common legal defenses:

If you would like more information after reading this article, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

The Legalities Of Auto Insurance Fraud: New York Regulations And Penalties

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