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Unlawful Filing of False Documents or Records Against Real or Personal Property



Introduction to Unlawful Filing Against Property

In the vibrant landscapes of Florida, owning real or personal property is a significant achievement, but it also comes with its set of vulnerabilities, particularly against the unlawful filing of false documents or records. This nefarious act not only threatens the sanctity of property ownership but also undermines the legal frameworks designed to protect it. At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities and the severe implications that come with such fraudulent activities.

But what exactly constitutes the unlawful filing of false documents or records against real or personal property? Simply put, it involves the act of filing or directing someone else to file a document in the official records that is materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent, with the intent to defraud or harass the property owner. This crime can have profound legal and financial consequences for both the perpetrator and the victim.

What is considered as “filing” in the context of this crime? “Filing” means to present an instrument for recording in an official record or to cause an instrument to be presented for recording in an official record, as defined by Florida Statute § 817.535.

Understanding the legal definitions and framework is crucial for property owners and individuals alike. The terms “file,” “filer,” “instrument,” and “official record” are foundational to grasping the scope of this offense. An “instrument” can be any document that attempts to restrict the ownership, transfer, or encumbrance of or claim against real or personal property, including deeds, mortgages, liens, and even promissory notes.

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At Leppard Law, our approach to defending against such allegations is not just about legal representation; it’s about providing a shield to protect your property and your rights. Our team of seasoned Orlando Fraud Defense Attorneys leverages comprehensive legal knowledge and a tech-savvy approach to ensure that our clients receive the best possible defense against unlawful filing charges. If you’re facing such accusations or suspect fraudulent activity against your property, contact us today for a consultation and let us safeguard your peace of mind and your property’s integrity.

Understanding the Crime of Unlawful Filing

When it comes to protecting your property, understanding the ins and outs of unlawful filing of false documents or records is crucial. This act, aimed at defrauding or harassing property owners, can significantly impact your rights and financial well-being. At Leppard Law, we are committed to shedding light on this complex issue, ensuring you have the knowledge and legal backing to safeguard your assets.

But what exactly does this crime entail? Unlawful filing occurs when an individual knowingly files or directs someone else to file a document that is false, fictitious, or fraudulent, with the intent to defraud or harass the property owner. The types of documents involved can range from deeds and mortgages to liens and promissory notes, each potentially altering an owner’s interest in their property.

What makes a document materially false? A document is considered materially false if it contains statements or representations that are not true and are relevant to the ownership or encumbrance of the property in question.

Understanding the elements of this crime is the first step towards protecting yourself. The State of Florida outlines three key elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction of unlawful filing:

  1. The defendant filed or directed someone else to file an instrument.
  2. At the time of filing, the defendant intended to defraud or harass another person.
  3. The instrument contained a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation that purported to affect an owner’s interest in the property.

Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys

At Leppard Law, our Orlando Fraud Defense Attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of unlawful filing cases. We leverage our extensive knowledge and legal expertise to defend our clients against such charges, aiming to secure the best possible outcome. If you suspect you’re a victim of unlawful filing or face accusations of this nature, it’s imperative to seek professional legal assistance immediately.

Our approach combines a comprehensive understanding of Florida’s legal landscape with a personalized strategy tailored to your unique situation. We not only aim to defend your case but also to educate and empower you throughout the process. Contact us today to learn how we can protect your property and your rights against unlawful filing.

Penalties and Enhancements for Unlawful Filing

When it comes to the unlawful filing of false documents against real or personal property in Florida, the legal consequences are severe and designed to deter such fraudulent activities. The penalties for this crime are significant, reflecting the state’s commitment to protecting property owners and maintaining the integrity of public records.

Initially, a person found guilty of unlawfully filing false documents is committing a felony of the third degree. This charge carries substantial penalties, including up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and fines up to $5,000. However, the law doesn’t stop there; it includes provisions for enhancements that can elevate the severity of the punishment under certain circumstances.

What triggers an enhancement in penalties for unlawful filing? Enhancements apply when the crime is committed against a public officer or employee, during incarceration, or results in financial loss to the property owner.

Here’s a breakdown of how penalties can be enhanced:

  • If the victim of the false filing is a public officer or employee, the charge escalates to a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • Should the offender commit the crime while incarcerated or under court supervision (like probation or pretrial diversion), the offense is also elevated to a second-degree felony.
  • When the false filing results in a financial loss for the property owner, including the costs and attorney fees incurred to correct the public record, the charge becomes a second-degree felony.
  • Repeat offenders face even harsher penalties, with a second or subsequent offense being charged as a felony of the second degree right from the start.

These enhancements serve as a deterrent and a means to ensure that those who seek to manipulate the legal system for fraudulent purposes are met with appropriate legal consequences. At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities of these cases and are prepared to defend those accused of such crimes vigorously.

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to the unlawful filing of false documents, it’s crucial to seek experienced legal counsel immediately. The potential for enhanced penalties makes it imperative to have a knowledgeable attorney who can navigate the legal system and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

Remember, an accusation is not a conviction. With the right defense strategy, it’s possible to challenge the charges against you. Whether it’s questioning the intent to defraud, disputing the material falsity of the document, or any other defense, our team at Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys is here to help protect your rights and your future.


When facing charges of unlawful filing of false documents against property in Florida, it’s crucial to understand the legal defenses available to you. Equally important are the civil remedies for those who’ve been victimized by such fraudulent activities. At Leppard Law, we specialize in navigating both sides of these complex legal issues, ensuring justice and restoration for all involved.

One common defense against charges of unlawful filing is lack of intent to defraud or harass. Under Florida law, proving the defendant’s intent is a critical component of the prosecution’s case. If we can demonstrate that the filing was the result of a misunderstanding or mistake, rather than an intent to harm, the charges may be reduced or dismissed.

What constitutes a valid legal defense in cases of unlawful filing? A valid defense may hinge on demonstrating the absence of fraudulent intent or disputing the material falsity of the document.

For victims of fraudulent filings, the path to rectifying the situation involves several steps:

  • Seeking an injunction: This legal order can prevent further fraudulent filings by the perpetrator.
  • Correcting public records: Victims may need to file documents to correct the false information that has been recorded.
  • Recovering financial losses: Through civil litigation, victims can seek compensation for the financial damages they’ve suffered, including attorney fees and other costs associated with correcting the record.

Furthermore, the law provides for the nullification of fraudulent documents. If convicted, the court will issue an order declaring the fraudulent document void and may seal it from the official record. Victims also have the right to a civil cause of action, regardless of whether criminal charges are pursued, allowing them to seek damages and the removal of the false document from public records.

If you’re facing accusations related to the unlawful filing of false documents, or if you’ve been harmed by such an act, it’s imperative to have skilled legal representation. The attorneys at Leppard Law have the expertise and dedication to navigate these complex legal waters, defending your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome.

Don’t let the stress of legal challenges overwhelm you. Whether you’re seeking defense against charges or need to rectify the harm caused by fraudulent filings, contact us today. Our team is ready to provide the personalized, effective legal support you deserve.

Legal Defense and Civil Remedies

At Leppard Law, we understand the impact of unlawful filings on individuals and businesses alike. Our approach combines legal acumen with a personal touch, ensuring that you’re not just a case number to us. Let us help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and work towards restoring your peace of mind and securing your legal rights.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered unlawful filing of false documents against property?

Unlawful filing of false documents against property occurs when an individual knowingly files or directs the filing of any document that contains materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, intended to affect the owner’s interest in the described property. This act is considered a felony under Florida law.

How can victims of fraudulent filings against their property seek relief?

Victims of fraudulent filings can seek relief by:

  • Filing a legal action to declare the fraudulent document void.
  • Requesting an injunction to prevent further fraudulent filings.
  • Seeking damages for any financial losses incurred due to the fraudulent filing.

It’s crucial to consult with an attorney experienced in addressing fraudulent filings to navigate these legal remedies effectively.

What are the penalties for unlawfully filing false documents against property in Florida?

The penalties for unlawfully filing false documents against property in Florida include:

  • Felony charges, which may be elevated depending on the circumstances, such as if the victim is a public officer or if the offender has prior convictions.
  • Possible imprisonment, fines, and restitution to the victims for any financial losses suffered.

Penalties can be severe, highlighting the importance of legal representation if you’re accused of this crime.

Can a fraudulent filing against property be challenged or removed from public records?

Yes, a fraudulent filing against property can be challenged and potentially removed from public records. The affected party can file a lawsuit seeking to have the document declared null and void. If successful, the court may order the removal of the fraudulent document from public records and possibly seal it to prevent further damage to the property owner’s interests.

For assistance with challenging a fraudulent filing, consider reaching out to experienced fraud defense attorneys.

Other Practice Areas We Serve

In addition to specializing in unlawful filing of false documents against property, we offer a wide range of legal services to meet the diverse needs of Florida residents. Here’s a look at some additional practice areas we serve:

Orlando Fraud Defense Attorneys Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification Information of a Minor
EIDL Fraud Defense Lawyers Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information
False Statements to Obtain Unemployment Benefits Organized Fraud
Workers’ Compensation Fraud Mortgage Fraud
Orlando Medicaid Fraud Defense Lawyers Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification Information of a Disabled Adult
Filing False Documents for Real or Personal Property Unlawful Filing of False Documents or Records Against Property
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud Misappropriation of Public Funds
Fraudulent ID for Employment Car Insurance Fraud

List of Top-Rated Unlawful Filing of False Documents or Records Against Real or Personal Property Attorneys Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is crucial when facing charges related to the unlawful filing of false documents. Our team of dedicated attorneys ensures you’re well-informed and supported throughout every step of your case.

  • John Vallillo: Known for his meticulous approach, John Vallillo provides exceptional legal representation, focusing on minimizing the impact of charges on clients’ lives.
  • Joe Easton: Joe Easton excels in crafting defenses that challenge the prosecution’s case, ensuring clients receive a fair trial and the best possible outcome.
  • Joel Leppard: As the founding attorney, Joel Leppard brings innovative legal strategies and a compassionate approach to every case, striving for excellence in client service and legal results.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

Our commitment to our clients is reflected in the diligent work we put into every case. The positive reviews we receive are a testament to our dedication to achieving the best outcomes for those we represent. These accolades make us one of the top-rated law firms in Central Florida. Read more about our clients’ experiences here.



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Take the First Step Towards Protecting Your Rights

When facing charges of Unlawful Filing of False Documents or Records Against Real or Personal Property, the path ahead can seem daunting. At Leppard Law: Fraud Defense Attorneys, we understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with these charges. But you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. Our team is committed to providing personalized, compassionate legal support to each of our clients.

Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Personal Relationships: We believe in building a personal relationship with each client. You’re not just a case number to us; you’re part of the Leppard Law family.
  • Expertise and Experience: With over 60 years of combined experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and skills to defend your rights effectively.
  • Client-Centered Approach: Your voice matters. Our mission is to ensure you’re heard, from the initial consultation to the resolution of your case.
  • Technology-Driven Defense: Led by tech enthusiast Joel Leppard, we leverage cutting-edge technology to enhance our legal services, keeping us a step ahead in your defense.

But don’t just take our word for it. We invite you to experience the Leppard Law difference for yourself. Whether you’re dealing with a misdemeanor or a felony, our dedicated team is here to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Ready to Start Your Defense? Don’t let another moment pass by. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation. Discover why we’re consistently ranked among the best in Florida, and let us put our expertise to work for you.

Awards & Recognition

Leppard Law is honored to be recognized for our commitment to excellence:

At Leppard Law, we’re not just your attorneys; we’re your advocates, your support system, and your guide through the legal process. Let us show you what it means to have a dedicated team by your side. Call us now at 407-476-4111 and take the first step towards securing your future.

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article showcases the firm’s 60 years of combined expertise in criminal defense, with a particular focus on the unlawful filing of false documents or records against real or personal property. Joe Easton, renowned for his strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, not only offers legal representation but also a commitment to transforming legal challenges into victories. His approach combines courtroom tenacity with personalized client care, ensuring your case is championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton