Mail Fraud Lawyer Fiercely Defending Clients Across California
Mail fraud is a federal crime, as the United States postal service functions under the power of the federal government. Charges for mail fraud are among the most common federal crimes brought to courtrooms every year. Those accused of these offenses are suspected of scheming to defraud others of money, assets, or property under false pretenses and using the mail service to achieve these aims.
To successfully prosecute a charge of mail fraud, opposing counsel must establish that the defendant fully intended to defraud other parties of their money, assets, or property. Unfortunately, this can be relatively easy for some prosecutors to prove in a court of law, as simply stamping and mailing an item can sometimes be considered intent.
If you have been charged under suspicion of mail fraud, it is important that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. You needn’t defend your case against state and county prosecutors alone. Attorney Diane C. Bass has years of experience defending clients in and around Orange County, California, and would be proud to represent you in court.
What Constitutes Mail Fraud?
According to federal law, mail fraud occurs when an individual or group devises a criminal scheme to defraud others for purposes of “obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises” and uses the postal service to carry out that scheme.
While originally mail fraud was a matter only for parcels carried by the USPS, the law now extends to items delivered by other services that have sprung up in the time since the laws were originally written. Mail fraud cases where the letter was delivered to and from addresses within the state of California are subject to state laws. Those involving interstate mail fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
What is Honest Services Fraud?
Honest services fraud falls under the umbrella of mail fraud but does not necessarily require the use of mail to commit a crime. In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled that mail fraud should extend beyond stealing a person’s assets and include their rights as well.
Honest services fraud preys on individuals by abusing positions of power, demanding bribes, or committing other acts of public corruption and misuse of public trust.
Prosecutors treat honest services fraud similarly to mail and wire fraud. The accusations are broad and may require a strong legal defense attorney well-versed in the laws.
What is Mail Tampering?
Your mailbox does not belong to you; it belongs to the United States Postal Service. While not as severe as mail fraud allegations, the charges for mail tampering reach far and wide, meaning more people are at risk of committing offenses than they might realize.
Putting items into mailboxes can be considered a crime, even if it is something as harmless as an unstamped birthday card. Similarly, taking or stealing deliveries from the mailboxes of other property can be considered a crime. Mailbox vandalism can also result in harsh consequences under the law. Mail tampering can result in fines between $5,000 and $250,000, depending on the particulars of the offense.
Though there are potentially severe charges for mail tampering, a strong defense could help you avoid harsh sentencing. With the help of defense lawyer Diane C. Bass, you may be able to avoid steep fines and other penalties.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a Mail Fraud Conviction?
The legal consequences of mail fraud can be severe. If convicted, the defendant risks the possibility of fines up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and decades behind bars. In most extreme cases, like those that affect a financial institution, those convicted may even see punishments of fines close to a million dollars and up to thirty years in prison.
Mail fraud charges are generally coupled with other criminal charges. The defendant may be found guilty of not only mail fraud but also racketeering, conspiracy, bank fraud, or tax fraud. These additional charges can come with enhanced sentencing, possibly resulting in additional years spent behind bars and more costly financial penalties.
With a strong defense, however, one could potentially see charges dropped, possibly resulting in no fines and zero days spent behind bars in a state or county prison.
Contact the Law Office of Defense Attorney Diane C. Bass to Schedule Your Consultation
If you are suspected of committing mail fraud, it is important that you understand these charges are serious and could result in extreme sentencing if you are found guilty in court. The government will employ aggressive prosecutors to pursue charges against you, so it is vital that you hire an attorney who will defend your best interests with just as much tenacity.
Defense lawyer Diane C. Bass has years of experience representing clients who have been accused of a number of types of white-collar crimes. She has an outstanding reputation among clients and her fellow lawyers as a legal representative who offers dedicated, steadfast law service to those she is hired to defend. Attorney Diane C. Bass has defended some of the biggest, most high-profile cases in Southern California and would be proud to be your representative in the courtroom.
To speak about your charges, call for your case evaluation. The initial consultation is for all new clients who have been accused of mail fraud charges. Call today to schedule your consultation at the Law Office of Diane C. Bass: 949-577-8368.