Miami Criminal Attorney for All Types of Fraud Charges
Over the past several years, wire fraud has become a popular means of theft. This has lead to an increase in prosecutions for wire fraud. It is important for those charged with wire fraud to understand the charges they face. It is even more important for these defendants to be represented by a criminal attorney who is experienced in handling wire fraud cases. Unlike other, more simple types of theft, wire fraud involves large sums of money being transferred through highly technical and regulated means. This presents unique challenges in building a legal defense for which a criminal defense attorney must be prepared.
The skilled criminal defense attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. has experience defending wire fraud charges in state and federal courts throughout Florida. He knows how to protect a defendant’s constitutional rights at every step of the criminal case process. Our attorney holds prosecutors accountable for proving their cases beyond a reasonable doubt. Call (305) 615-1285 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible. The sooner you have the advice of a wire fraud attorney in Miami, the better protected you will be from wrongful convictions.
What is Wire Fraud?
Wire fraud is a specific type of financial fraud that involves the use of telecommunications or information technology. This can be accomplished in many ways. One popular scheme involves victims receiving information that a loved one is in trouble or danger, and needs money wired immediately to a specified bank account number. Once the funds are wired to the fraudster’s account, they are generally unable to be recovered. Another popular scheme targets buyers and sellers of real estate. In this scenario, a victim may be given false routing information, and unknowingly send funds to a fraudster’s account instead of the correct account of the title company or escrow agency. Here, too, funds are often unable to be recovered once they have been sent to the wrong account.
Wire fraud is prohibited by both state and federal law. Because wire fraud affects the channels of interstate and international commerce, Congress has the authority to regulate wire fraud and has done so by enacting 18 U.S.C. §1343. The Department of Justice reports that federal prosecutors must prove four separate elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction for wire fraud: (1) the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money; (2) the defendant did so with the intent to defraud; (3) it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used; and (4) interstate wire communications were in fact used.
Section 817.034 of the Florida Statutes contains the State’s Communications Fraud Act. This Statute draws on the precedent of federal wire fraud statutes in order to criminalize the conduct under state law. The Statute specifically makes it a crime to engage in a scheme to defraud and obtain property thereby. The severity of the crime is classified based upon the aggregate amount of property that was obtained. At $50,000 or more, the crime is a first-degree felony. Between $20,000 and $50,000, the crime is a second-degree felony. If less than $20,000 of property is obtained, the crime is a third-degree felony.
The Statute also creates a separate crime for communications that are made in furtherance of a scheme to defraud. In this case, each communication is a separate crime, and each crime is classified based upon the amount that the defendant endeavored to obtain (even if he or she did not actually obtain it). If such property is valued at $300 or more, the crime is a third-degree felony. If the value is less than $300, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor.
The Unintended Consequences of a Wire Fraud Conviction
Like other theft offenses, a wire fraud conviction can cause problems that follow a defendant for years after his or her sentence has been served. Prospective employers commonly ask about convictions. They are especially concerned with convictions that represent theft or dishonesty. This can make it difficult to find any type of job. In some cases, it can also prevent you from obtaining a professional license or certification. The State Bar, for example, requires applicants to prove they are of good moral character, and theft convictions reflect poorly on this. Nurses, doctors, dental hygienists, and other medical professionals also must go through background checks in order to practice their professions. Financial regulators – such as those who certify accountants – are especially concerned with any conviction that involves dishonesty with money.
Applications for housing, mortgage loans, financial credit, and other services also involve background checks. Felony convictions can automatically disqualify an applicant. This is why it is so important to protect oneself from wrongful convictions. An experienced attorney can fight to dismiss inappropriate charges or to suppress evidence that was obtained illegally by law enforcement officers. Confessions can also be suppressed when they violate a defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination or Sixth Amendment right to counsel. (These are the rights protected by the Miranda Warnings, which must be given before a suspect can be interrogated while in the custody of law enforcement.) Even if these motions are denied, a defendant may have the opportunity to challenge the ruling on appeal. These are just a few of the many tools that an experienced Miami white collar crimes lawyer can use in order to protect his or her client from a wrongful conviction.
Experienced, Aggressive Defense of Wire Fraud Charges
At Stroleny Law, P.A., our skilled criminal defense attorney in Miami has experience handling both state and federal wire fraud cases. He can help protect your constitutional rights against self-incrimination, illegally seized evidence, improper jury procedures, or excessive punishments. The sooner you seek the advice of an experienced wire fraud attorney, the more protection you will have for all your legal rights. Call (305) 615-1285 today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Don’t leave your rights to chance, or to the whim of an adverse prosecutor. Get an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side today.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.