Although it might seem like a victimless crime, the government takes falsified documents seriously at the federal and state level.
In fact, despite it being considered a “white collar” crime that is committed for financial gain, you can face major penalties both legal and nonlegal for filing false public records. You can even face jail time depending on the severity of the crime and the damages incurred.
Without the right approach, you could be paying for your mistakes well into your future with a stain on your criminal record.
Have you been accused of maintaining or filing false Louisiana public records as a contractor? Then you’re going to want to read this.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know about falsified records. Continue reading to find out how you can fight these charges.
What is the Filing of False Louisiana Public Records?
When you file a document with a public office or with any public official, you are saying that the document is honest. If you were to file a public record that you know has been forged, wrongfully altered, or that contains a false statement or false representation of a material fact then you are violating Louisiana law.
In addition, if you file nonreimbursable items of cost for the Medical Assistance Program despite them not being covered under state and federal regulation, this is also a violation.
What Types of Records Can Be Falsified?
There are a variety of documents that can be considered falsified. These can include things like tax returns, academic transcripts, bank records, personal checks, or identification cards.
If you alter these records, for example, by changing things like business profits and losses or academic grades, then it is considered unlawful. This could also include forging a check or even using letterheads without permission to misrepresent a company or individual.
It can also include using a fake I.D. to get into a country or the act of destroying important information that is useful to a criminal investigation.
What Are the Penalties?
The penalties for a violation of ethics can vary widely depending on how severe the misconduct is considered as well as how much harm was done as a result.
Someone who has filed or maintained false public records could face jail time of no more than five years with or without hard labor. You could also be fined up to five thousand dollars or receive both as punishment.
In addition to the punishments above, you could be forced to pay restitution to the state of Louisiana. This is in the case where the state suffered a loss due to the false records. The cost of restitution will include the cost of legal interest.
Is It Serious?
We all know that telling the truth is important, and for the most part, little white lies aren’t going to get you arrested. But if you’ve knowingly filed legal documents with the state that aren’t accurate, then you could stand to face some serious charges.
Perjury is not just when you lie on a witness stand. It can also be when you sign a document that contains misleading or false information. By doing this, you are undermining the credibility of the courts and state government. They take it very seriously and you should too.
It’s important to understand your rights as a citizen when it comes to accusations of maintaining false public records. You may not have been aware that you have broken a law when filing these records. In which case, you may be found not guilty for the crime.
How to Fight the Accusations
When it comes to being prosecuted for filing false public records as a contractor, you should not fight it alone. Every detail and the facts surrounding your case can either help or hurt the final outcome.
Typically a person or business is found guilty of falsifying documents if they knowingly committed the crime. For example, tax filers make mistakes all the time on their tax returns. However, they did not purposefully try to commit fraud in order to steal from the IRS.
Therefore, it is important to show that you did not purposefully maintain false Louisiana public records. This is where a professional expert comes in.
Hiring a lawyer who will defend your side of the story in a professional way is ideal. Sharing your side of the story in a strategic way that can either show your remorse or prove that the act was done unknowingly can help show the court that you are an honest person.
Past Mistakes Can Haunt You
Without the help of a lawyer, you run the risk of being found guilty. Regardless of how severe the penalties, the stigma that surrounds a person or business who has filed false public records can haunt you for many years to come.
You don’t want to have the accusations of being dishonest or deceitful on your permanent record. A case like this can affect how other people see you by creating defamation of character. This kind of crime will remain on your record which can be found by future employers or anyone with permission to perform a background check.
Not to mention you could face jail time and some hefty fines. Don’t let accusations of falsified documents ruin your future. Take action by hiring a lawyer to help you plead your case.
Now that you know the extent of what accusations of false Louisiana public records can do, you may be asking yourself if you can fight your case alone. The great thing is you don’t have to.
When you face defamation of character, not only for you but your business as well, then you can’t take any chances. If you need help to resolve things, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll sit down with you as soon as possible and create a strategy for your individual case. No matter what your case, we’ll discuss your options and support you throughout the process. Contact us today!
Want to learn more information about Louisiana laws and your rights? Take a look at our expert blog for more vital information.