In today’s economy, a lot of people are unfortunately out of work. Unemployed people are entitled to collect unemployment benefits from the state of New Jersey. However, if you return to work and continue to cash benefit checks, you can be charged with falsely obtaining unemployment benefits. These charges are extremely serious, so make sure you find an attorney to represent you.
What does it mean to falsely obtain unemployment benefits?
Under New Jersey law, you can be convicted of insurance fraud for either intentionally making a false statement on an insurance claim or intentionally omitting material information from an insurance claim. If you’ve returned to work but you continue to receive unemployment checks without informing the state, you might be found to have intentionally omitted material information. Even if you think you’re still eligible for benefits, you might be charged with a crime.
New Jersey law divides insurance fraud into either third-degree fraud or second-degree fraud based on the circumstances. Third-degree fraud covers most cases, and it can result in up to 5 years in prison and $15,000 in fines. The charge becomes second-degree fraud if you cashed 5 or more unemployment checks and the total value of the checks is over $1,000. Second-degree fraud can lead to up to 10 years in prison and $150,000 in fines. Unlike third-degree fraud, second-degree fraud does not carry a presumption of non-incarceration, so you’re much more likely to get prison time if you’re convicted.
How do I beat charges
As always, the best defense depends on the specifics of your case. If the prosecution’s evidence that you were working while receiving benefits was illegally obtained, it can be suppressed, which can defeat the prosecutor’s entire case. If you tried to tell the Department of Labor that you were working, that might also be a defense.
What should I do if I’ve been charged with falsely obtaining unemployment benefits?
If you’ve been charged with falsely obtaining unemployment benefits, contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions, provide you with a fee quote so you know how much representation will cost, and walk you through the process from beginning to end. These charges are serious, but we’ll fight our hardest to get you the best outcome possible.