Now I have a prolumenary hearing . I want to know am I going to jail ? I've never been in trouble before and I'm just scared.
There is a potential for jail time for a fraud charge. However, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney about your case, as there are many factors involved. Plus, the possibility of jail only comes into play if you are found guilty or take a plea. There might be a good defense strategy in your situation. Fraud is a serious charge, and it would be wise for you to call a criminal defense attorney sooner than later.
This is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
You should start by contacting an experienced criminal attorney. A preliminary hearing could be a clerk hearing. If that is the case you may be able to stop the prosecution before it gets to a judge. An experienced attorney will guide you through that process, or create a plan acceptable to the clerk and your employer that avoids further criminal action. If the preliminary hearing is an arraignment; then the court process has started and you need an attorney to minimize any possible consequence. I suggest you do not discuss any more facts about your case online. I suggest you consult an attorney forth with.
Before you can ask the question about going to jail, you must first ask if your actions qualify as a crime. The crime with which you are charged is defined in the applicable statute. You should consult with your attorney to determine first, if your actions meet the requirements in the statute and second, if you have any defenses.
If your actions do meet the definition of the crime with which you are charged, and you do not have a defense, or you wish to enter a plea bargain (admit you did it), then you can think about the sentence. Whether or not someone goes to jail for a crime they committed depends on the specific facts of the case and the defendant's history. There are many factors a court will take into consideration in determining the resolution of a case. One factor will be your lack of a record. That will help you. However, that is just one factor. Some other factors a court will take in to account are how old you are, what you have done in the past, how the offense was committed, whether you have any substance or mental health problems and what you have done to address those problems. The list of factors the court will consider is long and again, depends on the specific facts of the case. Without knowing the specific facts of your case, or anything about you, it is impossible to predict what would happen.
You have not posted any specific facts related to your case. Nor should you. This is not a secure site and you should not discuss the facts of your case with anyone except your attorney. You can ease your fears by speaking with the attorney representing you on this case. If you do not yet have an attorney, you should get one. If you cannot afford one, and jail is a possibility, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you. If you do not qualify for an appointed attorney, you should hire one. This is not a matter you should handle yourself.
You have not provided enough information for anyone to give you an opinion, other than run to a lawyer!
Not sure exactly what you mean by "fraud" and who is alleging the fraud. But, a preliminary hearing is likely a magistrate's hearing that will be held before a clerk of the court to see if a criminal complaint should issue. At the magistrate's hearing, a police prosecutor and or company representative/alleged victim would tell the clerk the facts that they want the clerk to find there is probable cause to have a complaint issue. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you at the hearing because the attorney will know the legal elements of the crime you are alleged to have committed and is best suited to argue to the clerk that a complaint should not issue. If you speak at the hearing what you say can be used against you at a later proceeding if a complaint issues. Hire a criminal defense attorney.
Well, you certainly would not be going to jail at the preliminary hearing. However, whether or not you would receive jail time if found guilty is dependent on numerous factors, factors that you should discuss with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Keep your head-up and I wish you the very best of luck,
Anthony Rao, Esq.
The above response is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer, and any communication between us is not protected by attorney-client privilege.
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