Under North Carolina law, the offense of obtaining property by false pretenses is a crime. If you’ve been charged with this crime, you could face harsh penalties and a possible jail sentence. The level of false pretense charge depends on the worth of the property you wrongfully obtained. It would be best to contact a professional North Carolina criminal defense lawyer so that you can look into your options when it comes to your charges. The legal team at King Law handles criminal defense cases, and we want to help people like you diminish your false pretense charges.
Obtaining Property by False Pretenses in North Carolina
Based on a study conducted in North Carolina, obtaining property by false pretense was the most commonly charged non-violent crime alone in 2019, which accounted for over 22,297 criminal charges. Under the NC General Statutes Article 19 § 14-100, it’s an offense to obtain property from someone else by false pretense. The law says that a person is guilty of a felony if they designedly and knowingly use any false pretense to obtain or try to obtain property, money, goods, or services from someone within the state with the aim of defrauding or cheating the victim.
False pretense is similar to larceny of trick, which involves convincing someone to transfer their ownership of the property to you through deception, but they differ. Unlike larceny of trick, false pretense involves not only possession of the property, but also the possession of the property title.
False pretense may be a previous or subsisting reality. In other words, it might be your earlier discussions with the victim or the assumptions made by the victim, which you knew and failed to correct. It may also be a forthcoming gratification or occurrence. For instance, a person may lie about being part of a contract where they’ll provide property, goods, services, or money as a substitute for what the victim will offer them. There are other kinds of false pretenses. A scam, misinterpretation, or trick could result in these indictments. So, don’t hesitate to contact a criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing false pretense charges.
Penalties for False Pretense Charges in North Carolina
Individuals can commit the crime of obtaining property by false pretenses in various ways. Perhaps you:
- Used falsified or forged documents to obtain payment
- Executed an investment scam or Ponzi scheme
- Established a false business to perpetrate fraud
- Used someone else’s credit card to purchase goods or services illegally
- Used a false statement to receive a loan and more
The criminal charge of these offenses is a felony in NC. Yet the level of felony depends on the worth of the property you wrongfully received. If the property value you obtained or tried to obtain is over $100,000, then NC will charge the accused with a Class C felony. You will face mandatory active jail time if you are convicted of a Class C felony, which can be between 44 to 182 months, depending on prior convictions.
If the property value is below $100,000, then the accused will receive a Class H felony charge. A person who commits this crime must receive a jail term between four and 25 months. If you don’t have prior convictions, you may face community or intermediate punishment like probation. The punishment for a Class H felony may also be an active prison term.
The Proof of Obtaining Property by False Pretense in North Carolina
Under North Carolina law, the significant part of false pretense involves intent (the “knowingly and designedly” part). For an individual to be convicted of a false pretense charge, the court must prove that the person intended to cheat or defraud. It is usually difficult to prove a person’s intent using direct evidence. The prosecutor will also prove that the defendant obtained money, goods, services, or anything of value.
In fact, they must prove that you perpetrated each essential piece of the offense of false pretense beyond any doubt. The court must prove that you:
- Represented another party
- Are aware that your representation was deceitful
- Intended to use the false representation to deceive or trick the person
- Deceived the other party by this representation
- Obtained or tried to obtain something of value from the person
If you or your loved one is facing false pretense charges, it would be best to call a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Due to the case facts, some critical defense strategies may include:
- There was no false representation
- There was a breach of contract
- There is a lack of evidence
- The charge is inappropriate
- There is a lack of intent
- You were under stress
A skilled attorney knows what it takes for the prosecutor to achieve a guilty conviction. The lawyer will work with you to fight your charges.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney at King Law
If you are facing charges for a crime of false pretense, the criminal defense lawyers at King Law may be able to help you. While you may want to represent yourself in court, you may lack the necessary skills or experience. False pretense charges involve jail term penalties. It would be disheartening for you to be convicted for something you didn’t intend to happen.
At King Law, we understand that the charges may result from a misunderstanding. We will endeavor to prove that there was no false representation. Our attorneys will try to prove that you didn’t intend to deceive or defraud the other person. There could have been a breach of contract. Whatever the case may be, our lawyers will examine the proof and ascertain your strongest possible defense. We will help ensure you receive the fairest possible result in the case. To speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer, call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also fill out our contact form.