Loudoun County Federal Criminal Attorney
U.S. District Attorneys have the assistance of law-enforcement agencies and other government agencies that specialize in uncovering and compiling as much incriminating evidence as possible against the defendant. When facing strongly-backed prosecutors in a federal court, it is important that the defendant have a Loudoun County federal criminal lawyer who is confident and comfortable in aggressively challenging the prosecution’s case in court and fighting for your rights.
Sometimes, criminal offenses not only violate state law, but also federal laws addressed in the United States Criminal Code. Crimes such as these are known as federal crimes and can be prosecuted in a state court or in the United States District Court system. Commonly, the federal government will assume jurisdiction for cases which involve criminal activity across state boundaries, criminal activity on federal property, crimes of a national interest such as large-scale white collar crimes or large drug trafficking operations, and crimes which target the U.S. government, its agencies, or its officials. Even if the alleged offense took place in Loudoun County, the federal government may assert jurisdiction and prosecute you in federal court.
Criminal charges are not to be taken lightly, at any level, but offenses which incur federal criminal charges are often more serious. As a general rule, federal charges are more likely to lead to conviction than charges at a state level, and a conviction for a federal offense is typically punished more severely than a state-court conviction of equal classification.
The most common type of federal crime is known as a white collar crime. Inheriting its name from the antiquated assumption that businessmen tend to wear a white shirt and tie, this sort of crime often involves business executives or business-related schemes which swindle, embezzle, defraud, cheat consumers, or by some other dishonest and illegal means, accrue funds which are not rightfully their own. A Loudoun federal criminal lawyer can review the prosecution’s case, the document evidence, and help you build a legal defense strategy. There are many types of crimes which are considered to be white collar crimes, including but not limited to:
- Bank Fraud
- Commercial/Real Estate/Mortgage Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Insurance Fraud
- Mail/Wire Fraud
- Tax Evasion
Oftentimes, these and other financial crimes violate state law and are thereby prosecuted in state court, but when the national government is the entity from which funds are dishonestly obtained, the offender faces federal charges and is bound for the United States district court.
While general embezzlement is a white collar crime, if the entity from which the money is embezzled is a government-owned or government-funded operation such as a federally-insured bank, the offender will face federal charges for the crime. Likewise, insurance fraud involving Medicare of Medicaid becomes a federal offense, rather than a crime to be prosecuted at the state level.
Under the United States Criminal Code, bank fraud is addressed under “Mail Fraud and Other Fraud Offenses” in Chapter 64 § 1344. Here, bank fraud is defined as the criminal act of intentionally executing or attempting to execute a plan to defraud a financial institution, or to obtain any of the money, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false pretenses, representations, or promises. This federal white collar crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1 million making it extremely important that a Loudoun County federal criminal attorney is contacted.
Embezzlement and theft are addressed in 18 USC Chapter 31. In Section 641, regarding public money, property or records, the code states:
Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted shall be fined and/or imprisoned a maximum of ten years.
In the case that the embezzled value is less than $1,000, the offender will receive a maximum imprisonment of one year and/or a lesser fine.
Tax evasion is the process by which an individual fraudulently and unlawfully pays less tax than law mandates. A single failure to file a federal tax return is a misdemeanor offense, but repeated failure to file for several years constitutes evidence that the failures are part of a scheme to avoid payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are thereby punishable as a felony.
How A Loudoun Federal Criminal Lawyer Can Help
In a criminal case, whether at a state or federal level, the prosecution must be able to prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that the defendant committed the crime or crimes for which he or she has been charged. This is known as the burden of proof. Without sufficient evidence, the prosecution is weak, but if they have amassed enough incriminating evidence against you, your freedom is at risk.
If you become aware that you are the target of a federal criminal investigation, it is important that you seek the advice of a Loudoun County federal criminal lawyer as soon as possible. The things you say and do throughout the course of an investigation can be detrimental to your defense. By promptly obtaining skilled legal counsel, you may be able to limit the damages and begin developing a strong defense against the prosecution to minimize the impacts of any charges and associated penalties.