Public Assistance Fraud


The criminal defense attorneys of the Colter Law Group represent individuals who have been charged with a violation of the social welfare fraud statute. It is unlawful in the state of Florida to knowingly furnish false information, or to fail to disclose a material fact or a change in status in order to receive government benefits. In addition to being prosecuted for a misdemeanor or felony (depending on the amount of the benefits in question), you will be required to pay restitution and fines if you are convicted. Your best chances at avoiding a conviction for public assistance fraud depend upon your retaining a criminal defense lawyer with experience in these types of cases. At the Colter Law Group of Stuart, our criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended many individuals who have been charged with public assistance fraud. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.

Public Assistance Fraud in the State of Florida

Whether public assistance fraud—also referred to as "welfare fraud"—is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the dollar amount of the funds that were allegedly obtained over the course of a twelve-month period. If the amount is under $200, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor; if it is for a greater amount, it is a felony. The general term "welfare fraud" is a catchall for a variety of fraudulent activities, some of which include:

  • Giving false information on an application for public assistance or social services
  • Failing to report a material change in condition that would alter the amount received
  • Aiding or abetting an individual in any fraudulent activity associated with welfare
  • Altering or counterfeiting a food assistance identification card
  • Using a Medicaid card to fraudulently acquire medication
  • Filing false benefit claims on behalf of another to receive compensation

Because of the complexity involved in public assistance fraud cases, it is always recommended that you utilize a criminal defense attorney with experience in this area of the law. If you are located in Martin County, the Colter Law Group can make certain that you are your rights are protected.

Professional Criminal Defense Lawyers for Complex Fraud Cases

Because of the relatively low dollar amount criterion, most public assistance fraud cases are charged as felonies. That means that there are potential prison sentences attached if convicted. Do not agree to speak to the police or a prosecuting attorney until you have retained your own criminal defense lawyer. To schedule an appointment with one of Florida's top fraud defense teams, call the Colter Law Group of Stuart, FL. Our number is (772) 888-0883.