November 16, 2023 By Wallin & Klarich

Can You Go To Jail For Scamming?

If you are accused of scamming in California, the length of your jail time depends on the severity of the crime. It’s important to remember that the best defense against a scamming charge is to hire a criminal defense attorney. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can work with you to minimize your punishment or even have charges dropped altogether. They can assess the evidence, negotiate with prosecutors, and help you build an effective strategy.

Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free appeal consultation!

What is Scamming

Scamming in California, just like in many other states, refers to a range of fraudulent activities designed to deceive others in order to obtain personal gain, typically financial. This broad term can encompass a variety of crimes, from identity theft and phishing scams to Ponzi schemes and lottery scams. However, what remains constant is the intention to defraud. It’s important to understand the gravity of these charges, as California law takes scamming very seriously.

Under the provisions of California Penal Code section 484, engaging in deceptive or fraudulent conduct to acquire control over money, labor, or personal property is considered theft by trick. To secure a conviction for this offense, the prosecution must establish the following elements:

  1. Knowingly obtaining property that belongs to someone else;
  2. Securing the owner’s consent to possess the property through deceit or fraud;
  3. Having the intention, at the time of acquiring the property, to permanently deprive the owner of it or to take it away for such an extended period that the owner would lose substantial value or enjoyment;
  4. Retaining possession of the property for any duration; and
  5. Demonstrating that the owner did not intend to transfer ownership of the property.

It’s important to know that in order to be convicted, the prosecution must satisfy each of these elements. If the prosecution fails to do so, you cannot be convicted. Thus, having an experienced defense attorney who can pick apart the prosecution’s arguments and raise defenses on your behalf is imperative for your case. If you have been accused of violating this law, call our office today! With over 40 years of experience, we know the best defenses to raise on your behalf to get your charges lessened or dropped.


Scamming is an umbrella term that covers a large range of fraud crimes. Because of this, the penalties vary greatly depending on the crime, and whether it is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, depending on the type and value of goods or services stolen, a felony charge can result in up to three years behind bars. Even if convicted of a misdemeanor, you could still be sentenced to up to one year in prison. 

Because the penalties can vary so greatly, it is important to consult with an experienced defense attorney if you are facing these charges. Your attorney will be able to explain what kind of charges and penalties you face and help you formulate a defense strategy. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have 40+ years of experience representing cases like yours. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Possible Defenses

Since each case is unique, each case will require an experienced attorney to find the best defenses to raise. However, some defenses we have used in the past include:

Lack of Deceit or Fraudulent Intent

  • To secure a conviction, the prosecution bears the burden of proving that you intentionally used fraudulent or deceitful means to obtain possession of the property. In the absence of a confession, the prosecution will likely rely on circumstantial evidence to demonstrate that you knew or reasonably should have known that the information you provided to the victim was false or misleading. Your defense attorney can assert that you had no intention to deceive or defraud in order to acquire the property, undermining the basis for a conviction.

Absence of Intent to Permanently Deprive the Owner

The prosecution must establish that you had the specific intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. However, if it can be shown that your intention was merely to borrow the property temporarily rather than convert it for personal use, this can serve as a defense against larceny charges. Your defense attorney can argue that there was no intent on your part to permanently deprive the owner of the property, thereby negating the possibility of being convicted for this offense.

These are some examples of possible defenses. However, each case is different. It is important to have a skilled defense attorney on your side who can look at the specific facts of your case and find the best defenses for you. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over four decades of experience with cases like yours. We offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you are facing any type of scamming charge, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

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