How do the San Fernando Valley Courthouses Handle Auto Insurance Fraud Cases Pursuant to Penal Code Section 550?
There are a lot of individuals who are involved in auto insurance-related offenses and usually where I see the prosecutors in the San Fernando Valley courts, such as the Van Nuys Court and the San Fernando Court, getting involved is where somebody tries to pull a fast one on their insurance company and then they end up getting caught by the insurance company.
The insurance company then turns it over to law enforcement and now law enforcement gets involved and ends up sending it to the prosecutors who prosecute the person. This can come in a lot of different forms.
Damage Car, False Report as Stolen, Staged Accident
For example, somebody can set their car on fire in order to collect the insurance proceeds and then the insurance company and/or police find out about it and end up charging the person with insurance fraud.
Other times I've seen people collaborate to have their car stolen and the car is stolen and somehow when they report it stolen they mess up on the reporting of it being stolen or some other event takes place, the police get involved and they take it to the San Fernando courthouse or the Van Nuys courthouse prosecutors in order to prosecute that person for insurance fraud-related theft claim.
Also, sometimes people will lie about where they live and then use that information with their car insurance company and end up getting in trouble that way. Another common scheme that I see prosecuted in the San Fernando Valley courts related to auto insurance fraud is when people are getting involved with fake accidents.
Doctors are involved and people who are supposedly in the accident, body shops, all sorts of situations going on that basically involve insurance companies losing money.
California Penal Code 550 – Insurance Fraud
The San Fernando Valley courthouses are tasked with protecting insurance companies who have businesses in their jurisdictions. So, if the insurance company is being cheated out of money, then the prosecutors will get involved to make sure that the insurance companies are protected because then people will get higher premiums and the insurance company will be in a very difficult situation.
So, they are a big power broker when it comes to any type of insurance fraud pursuant to Penal Code Section 550. The police have special detectives who investigate these insurance fraud claims.
They also coordinate with the loss prevention or the theft-related individuals who work for the insurance company, a lot of whom are former law enforcement officers.
So, it's a big collaboration between the insurance companies, their people who try to protect their interests and, of course, the police, prosecutors and judges in the San Fernando courthouses and they prosecute a lot of these auto insurance theft cases.
Sometimes they're going it wrongly and the insurance company is trying to weasel out of paying money that they should have to pay, other times they do not do it wrongly and they're actually going after somebody who legitimately committed insurance fraud.
Fighting PC 550 Insurance Fraud Charges
Then the issue becomes whether or not they're going to be able to prove that and if they can prove that, what type of mitigating evidence can be submitted by the defense in order to avoid a felony, jail time and whole host of other issues that come along with these insurance fraud-related offenses. See CALCRIM 2000 Insurance Fraud: Fraudulent Claims.
I would say the San Fernando Valley courts are pretty reasonable as far as insurance fraud goes as long as we're able to mitigate things by way of a mitigation package, get the money paid back to the insurance company or maybe there was no money lost in the incident and show all the positive things about you and your life that gives them the other side of the equation so they can really evaluate everything.
I'm very effective at putting this package together, submitting it to the prosecutors, meeting with the senior prosecutors and doing everything possible in these insurance fraud cases in the San Fernando Valley courthouses in order to protect your rights, your interest, your freedom and your future.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.