Understanding Criminal vs Civil Fraud Law

Posted on November 28, 2023

criminal and civil fraud lawyer

Fraud is a deceptive practice aimed at gaining an unfair advantage or causing harm. In today’s day and age, fraud is a widespread issue that puts virtually everyone at some sort of risk, affecting individuals, businesses, and society at large. There are two different categories of fraud in the eyes of the law: civil fraud and criminal fraud.

Understanding the distinction between civil and criminal fraud is crucial to getting the legal representation, guidance, and support you need. Civil fraud lawyers and criminal lawyers play distinct roles in handling such cases, each with its own set of implications. At Karrass Law, our team of civil litigation lawyers and criminal lawyers in Ontario can provide expert legal advice as it pertains to fraud. Whether you’re filing a civil lawsuit because someone or an entity has defrauded you, or you’ve been charged with criminal fraud, consult with Robert Karrass and the trusted team at Karrass Law. 

To navigate your entanglement in fraud, here’s a simple guide to understanding the difference between criminal and civil fraud.

What is Civil Fraud?

Civil fraud encompasses deceptive practices or misrepresentation that result in harm to individuals or entities, leading to disputes where the aggrieved party seeks restitution or compensation. It involves cases such as contractual breaches, financial fraud, or deceitful actions causing financial loss or damage. Civil fraud operates within the realm of civil law, where the emphasis is on resolving disputes and compensating the affected party through legal action, typically pursued by civil litigation lawyers. The burden of proof in civil fraud cases relies on demonstrating, based on the preponderance of evidence, that the accused committed fraudulent acts causing harm or damages.

Types of Fraudulent Activities

Fraudulent activities that fall under the civil umbrella includes contract fraud in which case you’d need a contract lawyer, financial fraud which covers a broad spectrum of wrongful financial activities including credit card fraud, investment scams, Ponzi schemes and more. There is also insurance fraud, consumer fraud, real estate fraud, and more. If you’ve fallen victim to a scam or fraud, don’t cut your losses. Instead, book a consultation with the Karrass Law team and try to recover some of your losses and demand accountability from those responsible. To get started, contact our team. 

What is Criminal Fraud?

On the other hand, criminal fraud constitutes fraudulent activities considered illegal by governmental laws and statutes. This type of fraud involves deliberate deception or misrepresentation to gain unlawful advantage or harm others. Criminal fraud encompasses a wide array of offenses such as identity theft, securities fraud, or tax evasion. Criminal lawyers handle these cases, where the state or federal government prosecutes individuals accused of fraudulent acts. In criminal fraud cases, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, who must establish the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, aiming not just for compensation but also for punitive measures against the offender, which may include fines, probation, or imprisonment.

Types of Criminal Fraudulent Activities

Criminal fraud involves fraudulent activities that are explicitly defined and prohibited by criminal laws in Ontario, such as identity theft, securities fraud, tax evasion, or other types of fraud involving illegal gains, which may be prosecuted as criminal offenses. If you’ve been accused or involved in criminal fraud, seek legal advice from our trusted team of criminal lawyers at Karrass Law. We won’t judge you, we will help you determine a plan of action that represents your best interest.

Address Fraud Cases with Karrass Law

If you’ve been a victim of fraud or you’ve been accused, don’t wait to take action. Explore your options with an experienced team of legal professionals that will provide you with tailored guidance and representation. 


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