Daytona Beach Mail Fraud Attorneys
Facing Mail Fraud Charges in Volusia County?
In the digital age, where communication and transactions occur at the click of a button, criminal activities have also evolved to exploit these channels. One such white-collar crime is mail fraud, a serious offense with far-reaching consequences. Hager & Schwartz, P.A., based in Daytona Beach, Florida, specializes in providing comprehensive legal defense strategies for individuals facing mail fraud charges.
What is Mail Fraud?
Mail fraud refers to a criminal act involving the use of the United States Postal Service or any other interstate carrier to defraud another individual or entity. Essentially, anyone who inhibits or deprives another person of their property or the services due to them by means of the mail system, it is considered mail fraud. Mail fraud is dealt with in the United States Code Title 18 Section 1341. This law states that anyone who formulates a plan to take money or property through falsity that involves any aspect of the US Postal Service.
The fraudulent scheme typically entails the use of false pretenses, misrepresentations, or omissions of material facts with the intention of obtaining money, property, services, or anything of value from the victim.
In the past, this primarily came in the form of stealing someone else's mail or damages mail boxes. It also involved different scams that used the mail system as a vehicle of the scam. This included insurance scams, false advertising, and fake charitable organizations asking for money. With advances in technology, these scams have become more elaborate and, in some ways, easier to execute. Now mail fraud has extended to include wire fraud and deprivation of honest services.
Is Mail Fraud a Federal Crime?
Mail fraud is classified as a federal crime. The reason for its federal classification lies in the usage of interstate carriers, which inherently involves crossing state lines. The United States Postal Service and other interstate carriers fall under federal jurisdiction, warranting federal investigation and prosecution for offenses committed using these channels.
In many cases, the offense is of a far more serious nature and the consequences are often more serious as a result. In every situation, a federal crime is a much bigger deal that those at the state or local level.
Elements of Prosecution for Mail Fraud Charges
For a successful prosecution of mail fraud charges, several essential elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
- Intent: The prosecution must demonstrate that the accused had the specific intent to defraud or deceive the victim through the use of the mail or interstate carrier.
- Material Misrepresentation: The accused must have engaged in a deliberate act of misrepresentation, concealment, or omission of material information to further the fraudulent scheme.
- Mail or Interstate Carrier Usage: It must be established that the mail or an interstate carrier was utilized to further the fraudulent activity. This requirement is crucial for mail fraud charges.
Penalties for Mail Fraud in Florida
The penalties for mail fraud in Florida can be severe, as they are determined by both federal and state laws. At the federal level, a conviction for mail fraud can result in fines, restitution to victims, and imprisonment for up to 20 years or more, depending on the severity of the offense. Additionally, Florida state law may impose additional penalties, such as fines and imprisonment, which can be in addition to the federal penalties.
If the offense interferes with any presidential business or a financial institution, the consequences are even more severe. Such a crime carries the punishment of up to 30 years in prison and/or a $1,000,000 fine.
Difference Between Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
While both mail fraud and wire fraud involve fraudulent activities, the key distinction lies in the mode of communication used to perpetrate the fraud. Mail fraud employs the use of physical mail or carriers, while wire fraud involves electronic communication, such as phone calls, emails, or other forms of online communication.
Accusations of Mail Fraud: What to Expect
If you find yourself accused of mail fraud, it's essential to understand the legal process that follows. Once the accusation is made, federal authorities, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Postal Inspection Service, may initiate an investigation. During this process, evidence will be gathered, witnesses may be interviewed, and your actions will be scrutinized to establish the elements required for prosecution.
Defenses Against Mail Fraud Charges in Florida
When facing mail fraud charges, mounting an effective defense is crucial. Hager & Schwartz, P.A., has successfully employed various strategies to defend clients accused of mail fraud:
- Lack of Intent: One of the core elements of mail fraud is intent. If it can be demonstrated that there was no deliberate intent to defraud or deceive, the prosecution's case may weaken.
- Absence of Material Misrepresentation: If the accused can establish that no material misrepresentation was made to the victim, this could undermine the fraud allegations.
- Legitimate Business Transaction: Demonstrating that the actions in question were part of a legitimate business transaction, even if mistakes were made, can aid in establishing innocence.
- Lack of Evidence: A strong defense can be built by challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution, highlighting any inconsistencies, unreliable sources, or lack of direct proof.
- Entrapment: If it can be proven that the accused was coerced or induced by law enforcement to commit the alleged crime, an entrapment defense might be viable.
Strong Defense from Our Daytona Beach Mail Fraud Attorneys
Mail fraud charges are complex and carry substantial consequences. When facing such accusations, seeking the guidance of experienced Daytona Beach mail fraud lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A., is essential. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of mail fraud defense, the firm provides tailored strategies to protect the rights and interests of their clients, ensuring a fair legal process and striving for the best possible outcome in these challenging situations. We are an aggressive law firm that knows how to get results.
I thoroughly recommend Brett Schwartz as a defense attorney.
“I thoroughly recommend Brett Schwartz as a defense attorney. He worked tirelessly and relentlessly to get my case dropped even before it went to trial. He succeeded, although the odds were heavily stacked against us.”
Should you ever need a defense attorney, he is the person to contact.
“I was referred to Brett Schwartz by a friend facing very serious charges. He was very understanding and also very honest, walked us through the process of what could happen from beginning to end best case scenario and of course worst case scenario.”
If you need help go see Brett!
“We worked with Brett on a domestic violence charge. He was the third lawyer we went to and we FINALLY got the result we desired. His knowledge of the law, the system and straightforwardness are beyond impressive.”