Last year, an episode of the No Stupid Questions podcast highlighted the outsized appeal of the Dallas metropolitan area and Texas in general. As some states are seeing their populations shrink, their former residents are moving to Texas to soak up the sun and the tax breaks. Indeed, everything is bigger in Texas except your tax bill.
The increase in population has fueled a construction boom. All of these newly arrived folks will need big houses to accommodate their big dreams. When construction projects begin quickly, the hasty decisions involved leave the door open to misunderstandings. When real estate developers and large construction companies get their signals crossed, the result is usually a breach of contract litigation in civil court.
When a misunderstanding occurs between an individual homeowner and a small home contracting company, the homeowner’s instinct is usually to call the police and complain that the contractor defrauded them. If you are a small business owner facing criminal charges related to construction fraud in Texas, contact a Texas white-collar crime lawyer.
Texas Home Contractor Fraud Laws
Most disputes between construction companies and clients, or between construction companies and banks, go through civil court and only end with orders to pay damages instead of going through criminal court, where the contractor could face jail time. Texas law does not recognize a specific criminal offense of home contractor fraud. If police receive reports that a construction business defrauded customers, the business owner could face charges for financial crimes. These are some of the criminal charges you could face based on various allegations by the alleged victims:
· Theft by deception – Homeowners allege that you collected a deposit from them and never returned to finish the work.
· Mail fraud – Homeowners allege that, when you presented a written estimate for the project, you inflated the cost of the materials for which they paid you.
· Deceptive business practices – Customers allege that you presented yourself as a licensed contractor when you did not have a valid license.
· Making false statements and lying to obtain credit – Banks allege that you lied on your applications for construction loans.
Prevention Is the Best Defense Against Charges of Construction Fraud
If you get charged with a financial crime in connection with your home contracting work, you have the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer to fight the charges. In many cases, your inability to adhere to the budget and timetable of the project, which you originally quoted to the customer, is for reasons beyond your control. You can prevent disputes with your customers from escalating to allegations of crimes by including transparent disclaimers in the agreements you sign with customers at the beginning of the project.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, About Financial Crime Cases
It is in your interest to hire a Dallas criminal defense lawyer if you are facing charges for a financial crime as a result of your work for a construction or home remodeling company. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, in Dallas, Texas, to discuss your case.