Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello Jacustomer, You are going to be required to repay unemployment the money it overpaid you, and you will be able to pay it off in affordable payments which can be worked out either with unemployment itself or with the criminal justice system as part of a plea negotiation. Which way this goes, as you may already know, is going to depend upon whether or not you committed an intentional fraud. If you didn't, you could work out a plan with unemployment. But if they believe that you intentionally put in for benefits to which you were not entitled, the file will get turned over to the prosecutor who can charge you with benefits fraud. In this latter case, you would still be required to reimburse the government for your overpayment, but you would be facing a felony charge. Generally, prison won't be in the cards and you would likely be able to dispose of the case with a plea to the charge and a sentence of probation. Restitution to Unemployment would be part of your sentence and probation would monitor your payments to make sure that you were meeting them.The best thing you can do for yourself right now would be to speak to a lawyer. You should be entitled to a hearing, and most criminal lawyers have some sort of administrative law experience in this area. If you didn't know where to find one, you can call your Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. You could explain your mistake at the hearing and set up repayment. If you know you did deliberately take beneftis when you weren't entitled, then again you will certainly also need a lawyer. If you fail to go to the hearing at all or to cooperate with them, then Unemployment will confirm its own findings and turn that over to the prosecutor. Once that happens you can be charged and become a defendant on a criminal case. But a lawyer might be able to work somethign out for you with unemployment before the file is turned over to the prosecutor and without making any specific admissions which could hurt your case if you are, in fact, ever charged.
In most cases, from what I have read, most do not get turned over to a prosecutor... you just have to repay them. Is this something that is likely?
Does this effect my current or future employment?
Do you think I should just call them and tell them to send me a notice of overpayment and be done with it? Or wait for them to do that... or what?
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