When someone receives relief or benefits through government programs, they
are said to be on welfare. In most cases, someone cannot qualify for welfare
unless they are included in a particular financial status, above a certain
age, or suffer from some sort of disability, such as a debilitating personal
injury. One of the most common forms of welfare benefits are those provided
through the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the form
of food stamps and meals.
As people from coast to coast continue to struggle financially in today's
economy, more and more Americans are finding themselves receiving welfare.
In fact, it is estimated that about one-third of all U.S. citizens are
benefitting from at least one form of welfare. If that number seems high,
the government feels the same way and has been taken steps in recent years
to catch those who would abuse the system.
But with extra zealotry to try to crack down on those who take unfair advantage
of welfare, it is entirely possible that many who actually need the relief
programs are being unfairly treated. If you have been accused of
welfare fraud, you need to know how to defend yourself because, if you don't, you
could wind up facing serious penalties and an immediate loss of benefits.
Strong Evidence in the Face of Powerful Opposition
In terms of welfare fraud cases, the defendant is usually going up against
a government body of some form. This means you could be hard-pressed to
form a reliable defense on your own. Opt to retain the services of a criminal
defense lawyer who understands the intricacies of your case and how to
provide you with protection against the harsh scrutiny of the government.
In many cases, you may have to collect extensive financial records that
show your expenditures during the time you have received welfare benefits.
It is important to show that your welfare was going towards basic amenities,
such as food, shelter, clothing, and necessary conditions for comfortable living.
If you are receiving welfare due to a personal injury that keeps you from
working, medical records can provide powerful evidence in your defense.
Be sure to keep any details from examinations and treatments and, whenever
possible, have your doctor or physician sign any instructions of care
they give you.
Due to the legalese that can surround welfare programs, it is entirely
possible that you have inadvertently provided falsified information that
led to you receiving benefits. If unintentional negligence led to the
errors, an experienced litigator can argue that this is no way a criminal
act of welfare fraud. For example, you may have simply forgotten to report
that one of your dependents moved out of your house, or you weren't
sure if you had to immediately report that you had started a new job.
Take Action Before Your Livelihood is Taken From You
The unfortunate truth is that the government often sees people as just
case numbers. When you have been accused of welfare fraud, even if you
desperately need assistance, it could all be stripped away from you if
you are convicted.
To avoid unfair and harsh consequences, it is imperative that you protect
your rights and build your case with a Long Island criminal defense attorney
from Prime & O'Brien, LLP. With nearly a decade of experience
and a proven track record of success, we could be the ones who set your
life on the right path again.
Contact us today to schedule your
free case evaluation.