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Is there any legal basis for the DA to prosecute someone for welfare fraud code section 10980 (c) (2) without any restitution

San Bernardino, CA |

and without presenting any evidence defendant owes money? Meaning DA can just simple say defendant committed fraud because failed to declare income therefore file criminal charges and prosecute defendant. Please if you allege it is legal then state the law or statue of your legal basis.

or if you allege is illegal please state the law or statute why it is illegal.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The DA can file charges based on a good faith belief that the defendant wrongfully obtained aid in excess of $950.

    The initial charges in a criminal complaint are simply an allegation. The DA has to present proof at two stages: the preliminary hearing, where the DA must convince the judge that there is sufficient suspicion to hold a trial, and at the trial itself, where the DA has to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If you are charged with this offense and cannot afford to hire your own attorney, the court will appoint a lawyer from the public defender's office. That attorney will have access to all of the evidence against you, and can provide a better explanation of the facts underlying the charges.

    Since your question deals with potential criminal charges, I've moved it to the Criminal Defense section.

    PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTACTING MY OFFICE: My office is located in Chico, Butte County, California. I offer free consultations to potential clients whose cases are in counties within a 100 mile radius of my office. In order to represent someone who lives outside that area, I would have to charge enough to pay for several hours of travel time to each court appearance. If you're outside that area, it will be more cost-efficient to hire an attorney who practices in your community. I do not accept telephone calls regarding my posts on Avvo. If you need more information, please use the "comments" button or post another question. This is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.


  2. What evidence of owing money is required?

    Note the statute says if obtained aid in excess of $950. Not anything is owed.

    The DA will provide evidence of the amount of aid. I doubt a prosecutor would file a case without some evidence... It will come out in discovery. Also note that that to convict the misdemeanor side they just have to show fraud and no amounts.

    This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.


  3. The answer is yes. If someone improperly received welfare benefits, that is a crime. While the DA ought to allege a right of the state to restitution, his pleadings are not per se defective if this is omitted. I would think you should focus instead on the improper receipt of benefits, rather than restitution.

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