Mail and Wire Fraud

White Collar Crime Lawyer Serving Defendants Throughout Clearwater and St. Petersburg

A criminal act of fraud occurs when a person uses deception, dishonesty, or a misrepresentation with the intent of securing money or other financial gain from an individual, a business, or the government. Fraud is a “white collar” crime, rather than a violent crime or a street crime. This does not mean that fraud offenses, such as mail fraud and wire fraud, are prosecuted less zealously than other types of crimes, however. Both state and federal prosecutors take fraud cases very seriously because, even if no one is physically hurt by the activity, the victims – including the government itself – can suffer great financial harm. St. Petersburg and Clearwater mail fraud lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law understands the ferocity with which the government pursues convictions in mail or wire fraud cases, and he is here to help you defend yourself against such allegations.

Mail and wire fraud have been prohibited by the federal government for well over a century. Under federal law, it is unlawful to intentionally deprive another party of property or services via mail or wire. This includes the use of false or fraudulent pretenses, misrepresentations, or promises that the maker does not intend to keep. There are three basic elements to the crime of mail or wire fraud: intent, a scheme or artifice to defraud by virtue of a material misrepresentation, and a communication via mail or wire. Generally speaking, mail fraud covers mailings through both the United States Postal Service and private carriers like UPS and FedEx. Wire fraud covers communications over the telephone, a cellular communications device, the internet, and the radio.

Understanding the Possible Penalties for Mail and Wire Fraud

The exact length of incarceration and the amount of the fine to be imposed depends upon several factors, including whether the case is being brought by the federal government or the State of Florida (under the Florida Communications Fraud Act, for example), how many counts are alleged, the amount of money or services that was allegedly acquired or sought to be acquired through the mail fraud or wire fraud scheme, any other charges brought simultaneously with these accusations, and the defendant’s previous criminal history. A mail fraud attorney can advise Clearwater and St. Petersburg residents on how each of these factors may apply to their case. The type of victim whom the fraudulent scheme was intended to affect can also be a consideration. It is not usual for a mail or wire fraud defendant to receive a sentence of 20 to 30 years in the penitentiary, as well as being ordered to pay large fines and make restitution.

One important thing to note about a mail or wire fraud case – or any criminal case, for that matter – is that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law. The government has the burden of proof and must prove the defendant guilty through the introduction of competent evidence. In many criminal cases, there are arguments about the admissibility of certain pieces of evidence, leaving the trial court judge to decide whether such evidence passes constitutional muster. The evidence must have been obtained by using legally permissible methods, and police or other governmental officials must not have violated the defendant’s constitutional rights during the arrest or investigation.

Speak to a Tenacious Mail Fraud Lawyer in Clearwater or St. Petersburg

Criminal cases involving mail or wire fraud can be technical and complex. Seasoned white collar crime lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law brings 20+ years of legal experience to the table for each client whom he represents. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call us now at 727-897-5413 or contact us online. The sooner that you call, the sooner that we can get to work on defending your case. Mail or wire fraud is a serious crime with potentially life-altering implications if you are convicted. Protect your future by speaking to a skilled defense attorney now. St. Petersburg and Clearwater mail fraud attorney Will Hanlon also represents residents of Newport Richey and Dade City.