If you’ve been charged with money laundering, you may be tempted to rely on a corporate lawyer or even defend yourself, especially when you know the charges are unjust. However, money laundering is a serious crime and can be punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, plus fines, and you’ll need an experienced criminal defense law firm in Tampa on your side.
In this brief article, a white collar defense attorney in Tampa from the team at The Rickman Law Firm shares three reasons to hire an attorney if you’ve been charged with the federal crime of money laundering.
Money laundering is a violation of the federal laws 18 U.S.C. §1956 and 18 U.S.C. §1957, which are enforced by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). According to the FBI, money laundering is the process by which criminals conceal or disguise their proceeds and make them appear to have come from legitimate sources. This allows guilty parties to hide wealth they have accumulated from untoward or illegal means and avoid taxes, prosecution, and other consequences of reporting while giving them a way to illegally increase profit and the ability to invest in other illegal activities. In other words, to launder money is to perform the act of making dirty laundry appear clean through a real business.
There are a variety of penalties for money laundering, but the most common is jail time, restitution payments, fines, and community service. However, your sentence is more likely to carry steeper fines and longer jail time if the money laundering ties you to other serious crimes, like illegal drug trafficking.
If you’ve been charged with money laundering, it’s easy to assume that submitting your tax documents and other paperwork to investigators will get you out of hot water. However, that’s not always the case. The following three reasons can help you understand what an attorney can do for you in a money laundering case:
Throughout your case, you’ll need to make sure to protect your remaining assets while defending yourself. The Rickman Law Firm can help. Your attorney will help you understand the best possible defense if you are charged, and will advise you during the investigation to protect your rights.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.