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Obtaining Property by False Pretenses

Posted by Sean Cecil | May 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

IN North Carolina, Obtaining Property by False Pretenses is a felony. If the property obtained has a dollar value of less than $100,000.00, the crime is a relatively low Class 'H' felony. To obtain a conviction for "OPFP" the government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant is guilty of all the following elements:

1. made a representation about a past or existing fact or a future event

2. that was false and

3. was calculated and intended to deceive, AND

4. the representation did actually deceive another person (this includes associations, governments, corporations, etc) AND

5. the defendant thereby obtained, or attempted to obtain, money, goods, property, services...or any other thing of value from that person. 

Most of these cases are low-level felonies. Examples I have seen often involve merchants- attempting to use a real receipt to fraudulently return an item retrieve from a store shelf, attempting to pick up an online purchase twice, attempting to reuse a Coinstar receipt, etc. I've also sale of an item that was not legally owned and creation and attempted use of checks drawn on fraudulent accounts charged as OPFP. 

 Because these are low-level felonies, a defendant with no prior criminal history might hope to be expected into a diversion program, or allowed a plea bargain guilty plea to a misdemeanor, an outcome with less drastic life-changing consequences. However, as with all felonies, defendants with prior felony convictions and Class 1 misdemeanors should expect more serious consequences, including the possibility of an active prison sentence. In those cases, a favorable plea bargain is not likely absent serious deficiencies with the prosecution's case or some outstanding mitigation. 

About the Author

Sean Cecil

Sean is an experienced advocate dedicated to justice for all people. He believes that individual human rights outweigh the freedom to make an easy dollar.

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