Federal and State Money Laundering Crimes


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It is essential to know what laws exist throughout the country as well as the state where a person lives when it comes to money laundering so that the individual is able to prevent charges of crimes connected to these situations. While the charges are often similar, there may exist some differences based on the location of the country in which the person lives.

Some states require the person involved in money laundering to know that he or she is actively involved in the illegal activity. This understanding is not always necessary, but without it, some states will not charge the individual with the crime. This may cover a wider range of legal violations such as cleaning the money, obtaining the funds illegally and processing the cash into the business transactions of a company. While money laundering may remain lacking in evidence for intent, the person may still receive an issuance of charges based on other crimes he or she commits.

State and Federal Charges

Some states connect the individual to both state and federal charges such as in Louisiana. The person facing such charges will either face misdemeanor or felony charges based on how much money involved in the actions is discoverable by the law enforcement agencies attached to the case. Misdemeanors in this state is for $3000 or less when connected to money laundering. However, the person may face up to six months in prison with as much as $1000 in fines. However, felony charges occur when the amount is grater than the $3000 with up to 99 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Organized Crime

Other states such as Florida may add racketeering charges or investigations of organized criminal activity to those of money laundering. This state and many others will clearly state that money laundering is a financial transaction. The individual may make one or more transactions that conceal, hide or process income of some form and then clean it through a business. The money may accumulate through any type of crime, but this could include any felony of the state or federal laws. The individual does not need to violate any specific law to add money laundering to his or her charges.

To prosecute for this crime, the lawyer needs to show that the defending party knew there was criminal activity or that an unlawful source of the money occurred. This could tie in someone that was at least in part aware that a crime happened so that the funds were part of the business transactions. The defendant must also know that the transaction has an intended use in criminal activity such as money laundering. The person may spend up to twenty or more years in a state jail or prison or federal prison when convicted depending on the amount, severity and circumstances.

Charges of Money Laundering

One of the more pressing concerns in defending against money laundering is that there are often additional charges the person needs to refute. The connection to possible gang-related crime, organized criminal activity, drug possession or distribution and selling of firearms may launch an investigation. Through a profound well of evidence that the prosecution may bring to the courtroom, the defendant may remain confused or intimidated by the sheer volume of charges lobbied against him or her. Refuting the evidence is a difficult process and may require additional time. Hiring an experienced lawyer may increase the odds of success.

Federal charges in addition to or in place of state charges could increase the chances of significant consequences for a conviction. The person may face federal prison terms and large fines for a connection to organized crime, gang connections or drug charges. If he or she only faces federal or state charges, this could lessen the problem. However, the individual may need additional proof or legal support depending on the type of charges he or she faces in court. The inclusion of an expert witness may require additional qualifications and credentials if he or she faces federal court rather than a state courtroom case.

Knowing how to proceed is often just as important as gathering evidence and hiring the lawyer.

Criminal Legal Support for Federal or State Money Laundering Charges

Hiring a lawyer is usually only the first step in criminal defense. The legal team needs as much evidence that the defendant did not commit the crime of money laundering or other connected charges. This may involve a lack of knowledge of money laundering or any association with the criminal activity.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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