Have You Been Charged with Fraudulent Representation of a Veteran in Georgia?
Members of the armed forces hold a special place in society. We greatly appreciate the sacrifices they made for our country, and they receive benefits from organizations for their service. Because of the benefits military veterans receive, it is a crime to falsely claim to be a military veteran in order to obtain a benefit. However, many people are wrongfully charged with this crime. Whether you or a loved one has been charged with fraudulent representation of military veteran status in Georgia, our attorneys can help. We have over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience and are prepared to assist with your case today.
O.C.G.A. § 16-9-63(b) states
It shall be unlawful for any individual, with the intent to secure a tangible benefit for himself or herself, to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation that such individual is a military veteran or recipient of a military decoration.
However, a person can also be guilty of misrepresenting a military veteran if they appear in court portraying a veteran.
It shall be unlawful for any individual, with the intent to deceive, to appear in a court of this state while wearing:
- The uniform of the armed forces of the United States or the organized militia of this state if such individual is not authorized to wear such uniform; or
- Any military decoration which such individual has not, in fact, been awarded. O.C.G.A. §16-6-93(c)
Under the statute, a military veteran includes anyone who served the army, navy, air force, marine corps, or coast guard and the reserved components thereof and the uniformed components of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It also includes a current, former, or retired member of the armed forces of the United States, the organized militia, or a state military force of another state.
What is a Tangible Benefit?
To be guilty of misrepresenting a veteran, the purpose must be to receive a tangible benefit. It is essential to understand what a tangible benefit is. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-9-63(a)(6), tangible benefit means:
- A benefit, preference, service, or other thing of value offered to a military veteran which is enhanced or offered at a reduced rate or free of charge by an agency of this state, or any political subdivision or authority thereof, based on such military veteran's service or the award of a military decoration; or
- Employment or promotion in an individual's employment; or
- Election to public office.
The Penalty for Falsely Representing to be a Military Veteran in Georgia
A person found guilty of false representation of a military veteran will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor convictions in Georgia come with a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail. However, if the violation involved a military medal award, the award will be elevated to a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature are punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and up to 12 months in jail.
Georgia Defenses to Falsely Representing a Veteran
There are always Georgia Criminal Defenses we can use to defend your case. One defense we can use is that the representation was not used to obtain a tangible benefit. If there is evidence that no benefit was received, that could be a defense.
Another argument is that the representation was not false. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find documents proving military status. However, to negate the charges, proof must be discovered.
Lastly, innocence is a defense. If you did not, in fact, make these statements or were not the one that made the false representations, that evidence would be greatly beneficial.
No matter the situation, our Georgia False Representations Lawyers are here for you.
Call now and speak with one of our Georgia False Representation of a Veteran Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. Formulating a defense on your own can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Our Attorneys are highly knowledgeable and will assist you in formulating the best possible arguments for your case. We will walk you through every step of the process, and we are dedicated to being accessible to you- days, nights, weekends, and holidays while working hard on your behalf. Your False Representation of a Veteran Lawyer in Georgia will make sure you understand all of your options and advise you on the best approach to take for your case based on their many years of experience. Call now for a free case evaluation.