Accusations of money laundering should always be taken seriously. While this criminal offense is serious enough on its own, these allegations often follow other criminal charges. A skilled white-collar defense attorney could assist you with fighting back against not only money laundering charges but also for any related criminal offenses that may have been connected to it.

If you are dealing with allegations of money laundering, a viable defense strategy could help you avoid time behind bars. A conviction could result in the loss of your rights, steep fines, and a lengthy prison sentence. With the guidance of a Columbia money laundering lawyer, you could potentially avoid these harsh penalties.

Understanding Money Laundering

Money laundering is inherently related to other criminal activities. This is because the act of money laundering involves taking funds that were obtained unlawfully and “laundering” them in a way that allows a person to spend them without arousing suspicion from law enforcement.

The act of laundering money typically involves taking the proceeds of a criminal act and making them appear to be viable income. This allows a person to not only profit from their criminal activity without suspicion, but it also helps them avoid criminal tax charges by providing them with the appearance of normal, taxable income.

The specific nature of a money laundering effort is not important to these criminal charges. Regardless of how a person goes about laundering money, the critical issue is whether or not they knowingly attempted to make money that was secured through illicit means to appear legitimate. A Columbia money laundering lawyer could provide further insight into what constitutes this offense.

State Laws Regarding Money Laundering

As is the case with any criminal offense, state prosecutors must meet certain elements to obtain a guilty verdict in a money laundering case. Should the state fail to establish every one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, a Columbia money laundering attorney could secure an acquittal. In a money laundering case, these elements include:

  • Knowledge that the funds in question came from an illegal act
  • Intent to use those proceeds
  • Actual use of the funds
  • Completing or attempting a financial transaction that affects commerce

First, it is important to note that money laundering is a crime of intent. That means that a mistake or accidental transaction should not result in a conviction. It is also important to note that there must be a financial transaction that affects commerce. This means that there was some form of transfer of assets involving other parties.

Possible Penalties Upon Conviction

There are steep penalties that can come with a conviction for money laundering. The amount of money allegedly laundered will determine the extent of prison time or fines that a person faces upon conviction.

Money laundering is unique in that it can involve a large number of very small transactions. Instead of requiring the state to pursue criminal charges for every minor transaction, prosecutors can secure a conviction based on the total amount that was laundered during the course of a 12-month period.

Reach Out to a Columbia Money Laundering Attorney as Soon as Possible

Allegations of money laundering are serious. If you are convicted, you could spend years in federal prison and face thousands of dollars of fines. The good news is that allegations of money laundering are defensible, especially if you were unaware of what you were doing. In some cases, you might be able to show that you have done nothing wrong. Contact a Columbia money laundering lawyer today to get started.

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