Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending Individuals Accused of a Wire Fraud Offense
Wire fraud is a federal crime under 18 U.S.C., Section 1343. If convicted, a criminal defendant could face harsh penalties in federal court.
Because wire fraud is a federal offense, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) brings the charges in a wire fraud case. The federal government is known for pursuing harsh penalties against people who engage in wire fraud, even for a first-time defendant.
Furthermore, a criminal defendant could also face fraud charges in Los Angeles County criminal court.
While this may initially seem like a violation of the “double jeopardy” clause of the U.S. Constitution, it is not, as the federal government and state governments are distinct entities when it comes to criminal law.
People who are convicted of federal wire fraud are often facing extremely harsh fines and jail time.
In addition, the existence of a federal conviction on your permanent record could result in significant collateral consequences that could affect your life for years to come.
Consequently, if you have been charged with wire fraud, you need an experienced Los Angeles wire fraud attorney on your side who is licensed to practice law in federal court.
Call a federal criminal defense lawyer at our law firm to review the details of your case and discuss immediate legal options.
Defining Wire Fraud
Wire fraud refers to any type of fraud which is carried out via some electronic medium. Wire fraud could be conducted via radio or television, as well as over the internet.
Internet-variety wire fraud may occur when an online seller charges customers money for a product, such as on eBay, but fails to deliver the merchandise.
Work-at-home schemes advertised on websites like Craigslist are another common example of online wire fraud.
Common examples of wire fraud schemes include the following:
- Phishing scams designed to gain unauthorized access to accounts
- Telemarketing fraud
- Spam-related fraud
- Offering false investment opportunities through the internet
If you are under criminal investigation for wire fraud, it's critical to remain silent and consult with a Los Angeles wire fraud defense lawyer at Eisner Gorin LLP.
Our experienced federal crime lawyers will need to review your case in order to start developing an effective strategy to defend you.
We also provide a strategic approach to federal sentencing in order to stay out of federal prison.
Wire Fraud - Elements of the Crime
In a nutshell, fraud means knowingly or recklessly disseminating a lie for the sole purpose of depriving an unsuspecting victim of money, property, or something else that is valuable.
In order for a federal prosecutor to prove that wire fraud took place, they must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant did all of the following:
- Engaged in a scheme to commit fraud, such as making a “material misrepresentation” or “deceitful omission” about something
- Utilized some sort of wire mechanism, such as a television, radio, or the internet, to further the scheme; and
- Possessed the necessary “mens rea,” or mental state
In wire fraud cases, the defendant must possess the necessary specific intent to commit fraud. It is also important to note that a defendant does not actually have to commit the wire fraud in order to be convicted.
Rather a conviction for attempted wire fraud is penalized in the exact same way as is an actual conviction for wire fraud.
Common Legal Defenses in Wire Fraud Cases
Several legal defenses are available to those who are criminally charged with wire fraud. The most common defenses are “lack of specific intent” and “mistake of fact.”
Specific intent can be very difficult for a federal prosecutor to prove in a wire fraud case, since it is difficult to know exactly what is going through a particular defendant's head at any given time.
Moreover, criminal defendants are sometimes unaware of certain pivotal facts and do not even know that they're committing fraud in the first place. Without establishing specific intent, the state cannot obtain a conviction.
Wire fraud cases are often extremely complicated, and anyone seeking to raise a legal defense to allegations of wire fraud should consult with Los Angeles wire fraud lawyer at our law firm.
In addition, even if there are no defenses available, our experienced federal criminal lawyers can often negotiate a plea bargain arrangement that allows a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser offense or in return for the prosecutor recommending that the judge impose a lenient sentence.
Call a Los Angeles Wire Fraud Defense Attorney to Review Your Case
A federal wire fraud conviction is very serious and is punishable by up to twenty (20) years in federal prison (as opposed to California state prison) and/or a large fine.
Fortunately, there are several legal defenses available in wire fraud cases, and an experienced Los Angeles wire fraud defense attorney can utilize these defenses to try and obtain a dismissal, lesser charge, or lighter criminal sentence for a defendant.
Our Los Angeles federal criminal defense law firm has achieved tremendous case results in defending federal cases throughout the United States.
We appear daily in the Central District of California, the United States District Court in Los Angeles, and are often appointed by local federal judges to represent criminal defendants.
Our law firm partner, Alan Eisner, has been recognized as a federal criminal defense expert, having been named to the Federal Defense Panel by the Central District Court.
If you or a family member has been charged with wire fraud, you should contact the Los Angeles wire fraud defense attorneys at Eisner Gorin, LLP by calling 877-781-1570 or sending us an email through our online contact form.