If you are accused of food stamp fraud, consult a food stamp fraud lawyer before your first court appearance. Your first appearance in court is your arraignment, this is where you plead guilty or not guilty. Your lawyer will advise you on what to plea; tell him or her the truth for the best advise.
Accepting a Plea
Food stamp fraud isn’t a violent offense. If it’s your first offense, you may get offered a plea bargain, as long as you pay back the money. A food stamp fraud lawyer is the best person to advise you if a plea is in your best interest.
If you don’t accept a plea, your case will go to trial. Never attempt to represent yourself. If you are found guilty, you may lose other forms of assistance, in addition to your food stamps. Even if you are a victim of identity fraud, don’t assume you can present your case to the court and get the charges dropped. There are specific rules and deadlines that you will have to meet; an attorney will ensure everything is done correctly.
Don’t take a charge of food stamp fraud lightly. Depending on what state you’re in and the amount of the fraud, you could face felony charges. Fines and/or jail time, in addition to paying back the money, are possible. Don’t take any chances with your freedom or your right to assistance in the future; contact a food stamp fraud lawyer as soon as you are aware of a possible fraud charge. He or she will make certain that you obtain the best possible outcome.