It’s illegal to submit fraudulent insurance claims in California. This applies for both health and auto insurance. Penal Code 550 deals with fraudulent auto insurance claims. Charges under PC 550 are felony charges.
The results of a PC 550 conviction are often severe. Individuals can face years of time behind bars and high fines. The Simmrin Law Group is here to help you learn more about submissions of fraudulent insurance claims. Call us at (310) 997-4688 to learn more.
Understanding the Charge of Submitting Fraudulent Insurance Claims
PC 550 is used to prosecute individuals accused of submitting fraudulent auto insurance claims. Individuals in California are not allowed to file a claim they know to be false to their insurance company. This charge also applies if someone:
- Files multiple claims for the same vehicle damage
- Fakes an accident to defraud their insurance company
- Submits a claim that contains false information
You should know that intent matters for PC 550 charges. Individuals must knowingly submit these claims to face criminal charges. Get additional information from an auto insurance fraud lawyer in Los Angeles right now.
In the state of California, individuals can face concurrent charges for each act of fraud they complete. For example, let’s say someone is accused of:
- Faking an accident AND
- Submitting a claim with false information in it AND
- Submitting several claims for the same phony event
This individual could face three separate PC 550 charges for this one event. And each conviction could result in fines and/or incarceration. This is why you should treat PC 550 charges seriously. Find out how to handle these accusations with the Simmrin Law Group. Reach us by calling (310) 997-4688.
Penalties for Submitting Fraudulent Insurance Claims
Submitting a fraudulent insurance claim is a felony in California. In many cases, the court harshly penalizes this white-collar crime. A conviction can result in:
- Fines of up to $50,000
- Incarceration of up to five years
The court can also order an individual convicted under PC 550 to pay higher fines in some cases. In fact, the court can even order individuals to pay a fine that is twice the amount of the act of fraud. For example, let’s say someone received $100,000 from an insurance company after filing a false claim. They could be ordered to pay a fine of up to $200,000 for this crime.
Exceptions to Felony Charges
While serious, not all PC 550 accusations lead to felony charges. The court treats this offense as a “wobbler.” What this means is that in some cases, individuals can face misdemeanor charges for a misdemeanor. A conviction could result in:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Incarceration for up to one year
However, wobblers can turn to felonies in some cases. Felony convictions are, of course, more serious. Find out more about how to fight wobblers with a white-collar crime lawyer in Los Angeles. We can provide you with detailed information about the charges you’re facing and help you fight back.
The team at the Simmrin Law Group is here to help if you are accused of submitting fraudulent insurance claims in California. We know the kinds of defenses you can use against PC 550 accusations. Allow us to argue that:
You Did Not Intend to Commit Fraud
Intention is important when it comes to PC 550 accusations. You must have knowingly acted to commit fraud to face a conviction. If you thought that you were submitting a legitimate claim, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
You Were Forced to File a False Claim
You must have acted willingly to be convicted under PC 550 in California. You should not be convicted if you were forced to act against your will. For example, if someone threatened your life unless you helped them submit a false claim, a lawyer may be able to help.
Get Help with Penal Code 550 Accusations in California Today
Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group if you’ve been accused of a Penal Code 550 violation. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can help. Just reach out to us for a free consultation about your situation.
Call us at (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form.