Crimes can fall into a number of categories. Minor crimes are often considered misdemeanors. Some offenses are punitive in nature, while others are compensatory. In most cases, the type or degree of the crime is determined by the specific act that is carried out, the apparent intent behind the act, and the circumstances surrounding the act. Perhaps the two most well-known categories of criminal offenses are federal versus state. A state crime is one which falls under the jurisdiction or authority of the state.
This means that the state has specific laws that such a crime violated and the state deals with the punishment. A federal crime is one which falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Often, such crimes are wider in scope or perhaps cross state lines. 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. One crime that fits into this category is mail fraud.
What Constitutes Mail Fraud?
In its most basic form, mail fraud is simply interfering with the US Postal Service. 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. 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.
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. This could happen in an actual post office or other mail depository. It could also involve any delivery or depositing of an item. If an individual is found guilty of such an offense, they cannot be imprisoned any longer than 20 years. They may also be subject to a significant fine. 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.
What can I do?
If you have been accused of mail fraud, it is important you act fast. As this is a federal crime, you are facing a much more serious charge. It is important that you have a strong defense to keep this from adversely affecting the rest of your life. Hager & Schwartz can provide that defense. We are an aggressive law firm that knows how to get results.
Our attorneys are former state prosecutors--we know how a case works from all angles. Give us a call to begin your defense now.