Having insurance that covers your most important possessions is recommended and even required in some cases. But, it’s not always smooth sailing when you’re dealing with insurance, as some claims are labeled as fraudulent and can lead to serious criminal charges.
If you’ve been accused of committing insurance fraud, it’s good to find out more about this type of charge before you fight it. Here’s what you need to know about Texas fraud laws, including what happens if you commit insurance fraud and what kind of defenses you can use against this charge.
What Is Insurance Fraud?
When it comes to insurance fraud, Texas residents aren’t always familiar with what qualifies. So, what is considered insurance fraud? Generally, it involves purposely deceiving or misleading an insurance company by submitting false information on a claim or insurance application.
If you benefit in any way by lying to your insurance company, you might be facing insurance fraud charges. For example, if you purposely set your house or car on fire and then submit the claim to your insurance company so you can get a check for the damages, you’re committing insurance fraud. The insurance company won’t pay for the damages if it’s clear you purposely started the fire, so you’re deceiving your insurer for money, and that’s fraud.
Is Insurance Fraud a Felony in Texas?
Now you know this crime is serious, but is insurance fraud a felony in Texas? It depends on the amount of money involved in the case.
If your insurance claim amounted to $50 or less, it’s a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. If you’re convicted under Texas fraud laws, you might get a $500 fine, but no felony on your record.
On the other hand, if your claim amounted to $200,000 or more, you’re facing a first-degree felony. With this kind of conviction, insurance fraud jail time is likely one of your consequences.
Insurance Fraud Jail Time
So, how long can you go to jail for insurance fraud in Texas? If your case is classified as a first-degree felony, the sentence may include anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison.
If the charge against you stems from a lie on your insurance application, you might be facing anywhere from 180 days to 2 years in prison. The insurance fraud sentencing guidelines vary depending on the specifics of your case. Your defense lawyer can tell you more when you contact Houston insurance fraud lawyer Seth Kretzer for legal guidance.
What Are Some Possible Defense Options Against Insurance Fraud Charges?
If you are facing insurance fraud charges, you need to hire a defense lawyer as soon as possible so you have a chance of avoiding any sort of false insurance claim penalty.
Depending on the facts of your case, you might be able to avoid a conviction by showing you never had any intent to defraud your insurer, or by showing that the information you provided was true and therefore not fraudulent. In addition, if you can show that any misinformation you provided was an honest mistake on your part, you may be able to avoid the insurance fraud consequences that come with a conviction.
If you need legal representation for your Texas insurance fraud case, Houston federal criminal defense lawyer Seth Kretzer can help. Our trusted team has helped to defend numerous Texas residents against insurance fraud charges, and we’d be happy to represent you. Contact our office for a free consultation today.