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If you have been charged with violating the terms of your unemployment benefits or insurance, you may face serious consequences if convicted. From strict penalties to jail time and a felony record, unemployment fraud is a serious matter and should be handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

With over 20 years of law experience, Sonoran Law Group brings perspectives from both sides of the courtroom when defending individuals in cases involving unemployment fraud.

What is Unemployment Benefit Fraud?

Unemployment benefit violations and fraud are termed “white collar crimes” because there is no violence involved and typically involve some sort of theft. Individuals are often charged with unemployment fraud in situations where their economic status changes after obtaining unemployment benefits like starting a new job. The investigations and charges arise when they fail (often innocently) to advise the proper department of the change.

Arizona statute ARS § 23-771 states the rights and eligibility requirements for individuals seeking unemployment benefits. Under this law, individuals are eligible under the following stipulations:

  • The individual has registered to work
  • The individual has filed a claim to receive unemployment benefits
  • The individual is willing and able to work
  • The individual is making a conscious effort to gain employment with documented proof
  • The individual was receiving wages for a certain period of time prior to unemployment

How Did I Get Charged for Fraud?

If an individual meets these requirements, they are eligible to receive the unemployment benefits in the state of Arizona. However, charges of fraud or violation regarding an individual’s eligibility carry serious consequences. Under ARS § 23-785, an individual will be considered guilty of committing fraud under the following circumstances:

  • Any person who deliberately makes a false statement or representation or fails to disclose information in order to obtain or increase a benefit will be charged with a class 6 felony. Each false statement, representation or failure to disclose information shall be a separate charge.

As you can see, unemployment fraud defendants face serious penalties, including fines, probation, and prison time. Unemployment benefit claims are carefully approved and frequently investigated due to the high number of fraud cases that happen.

More than 20 years of “White Collar” Crime Defense Experience

If you have been charged with unemployment fraud or are being investigated for a possible unemployment benefits violation, it is in your best interest to refrain from speaking with law enforcement or anyone else besides an experienced attorney.

Anything that you say can and most likely will be used against you in your case. Fighting a fraud conviction is a complex matter that should be handled by a criminal defense lawyer with ample experience.

At Sonoran Law Group, you will find that we handle “white collar crimes” on a regular basis and will treat yours with the utmost importance. In most cases, skillful negotiations can help reduce or even have your charges dismissed as we have done for many clients. Schedule your free consultation today — learn your rights and how to best handle an unemployment fraud charge.