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What are possible defenses against federal fraud charges?

Fraud can take a lot of different forms. The motives for committing such crimes are just as variable. In most cases the charges tend to involve some type of scheme to defraud others of money through any number of methods. But there may be instances in which the goal of the alleged activity is something less clear, such as trying to obtain prescription drugs to feed an addiction.

Regardless of the reasons behind the purported crimes, anyone who is charged with fraud or other crime is entitled to the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the federal and Minnesota constitutions. Indeed, there may be circumstances under which it might be argued that the defendant was driven by compulsions over which they had no control.

So, what are potential defenses against fraud or any other type of criminal charge? The most fundamental, of course, is to draw on the protections granted by the constitution and make the state meet the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As a defense strategy, it might serve to bring out elements of evidence that raise doubts. An example might be providing an alibi that shows a defendant couldn't possibly be guilty.

Another avenue that might be followed is to acknowledge guilt, but argue that there are reasons to mitigate responsibility. Self-defense might serve as the explanation. If the defendant was impaired in any way by drug use or the ravages of addiction, it might be possible to argue extenuating circumstances.

If a defendant is induced into criminal activity by authorities, entrapment might be a viable defense. However, if there is a history of activity, an entrapment claim likely would not work.

In the end, the specifics of the case need to be assessed to determine what the best outcome might be and how to achieve it, so contacting an attorney with demonstrated skill should be step one.

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