Money laundering is a widely misunderstood criminal offense, and for most Americans, their only exposure to this crime has been through media depictions. The reality is that money laundering is quite common throughout the United States and generally involves a process of “washing” money gained through illegal operations within legitimate businesses, typically those that function primarily on cash-based payments. Essentially, business owners disguise illegal funds as business profits to make their “dirty” money appear legitimate.
If you have been charged with money laundering in Nashville, TN, you need a defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex criminal court proceedings ahead of you. Money laundering is typically the broadest point of contact between street crime and white collar crime, and it’s possible for individuals across the entire socioeconomic spectrum to face money laundering charges. The team at McNally Law can provide detail-oriented and responsive defense counsel if you have been charged with any type of money laundering offense.
It’s vital to take advantage of your right to legal counsel when you are charged with a crime. This is especially true for complex crimes that may lead to felony charges and negatively impact your life for many years. If you believe you have been wrongfully accused or that you did not know what you were doing was wrong, do not think that you can simply talk your way out of the situation.
Nashville prosecutors tend to pursue convictions in money laundering cases very aggressively as these cases typically pertain to larger organized crime investigations. Depending on your unique situation, it’s possible for you to even face federal charges and/or prosecution under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and be charged for related offenses that others in your operation committed.
You have the right to an attorney if you are charged with a crime in the United States, and many people in this position simply opt for defense counsel from public defenders. These court-appointed defense lawyers provide their services free of charge, and the majority of them are capable legal representatives. However, they cannot provide much in the way of individualized attention to any one client due to the fact that they must manage several cases at a time.
Some people choose public defenders because they do not wish to pay private attorneys’ fees. If you are concerned with the potential cost of your defense lawyer’s services, it is vital to understand what could be at stake in your money laundering case when it comes to sentencing. These offenses often carry a sentence that can include substantial economic penalties, loss of professional licenses, long-term incarceration, and more.
When you are concerned about the cost of your legal representation, make sure you fully understand your attorney’s billing policy before signing a contract for their services. Most defense attorneys will bill their time hourly and divide it into ten or fifteen-minute increments. If you want to calculate the potential cost of your legal fees, you will need to multiply this rate by the time the attorney expects to spend working on your case.
The United States Treasury Department specifically defines money laundering as the process of making ill-gotten funds appear legitimate. The term “money laundering” only applies specifically to illegally obtained money. Some of the most commonly cited sources of illegally laundered “dirty” money include drug trafficking, human trafficking, “fencing” stolen goods, and other criminal enterprises.
Money laundering involves three basic steps:
It is only possible to face money laundering charges if an individual engages in this activity knowingly using money obtained from illegal activities.
Tennessee state law defines money laundering as a Class B felony, punishable by up to $25,000 in fines and eight to 30 years in prison. The severity of the penalty typically depends on how much money the defendant laundered, the length of time they participated in money laundering activity, the personal gain they obtained by providing a money laundering service to known criminal elements, and whether they were involved in any related criminal activities. It is also possible for a business owner to face a lesser penalty of a Class E felony charge if the business owner knowingly obtains, conceals, transports, or otherwise handles illegally obtained property or funds. This offense carries a penalty of fines up to $5,000 and seizure of assets with possible prison time.
If you are charged with money laundering in Nashville, TN it is vital to secure defense counsel as soon as possible. The Nashville money laundering attorneys at McNally Law have years of experience handling complex criminal cases, including a full range of white-collar crimes, drug crimes, and many other offenses often related to money laundering cases. Our team will work closely with you to determine your best available defenses. For example, if a local criminal enterprise forced you to participate in money laundering with threats and other coercion, this could form an affirmative defense. If you own a business and an employee was engaged in money laundering without your knowledge, this may also function as a viable defense.
McNally Law specializes in complex criminal defense cases. We know how alienating and stressful it can be to face criminal charges that could potentially impact the rest of your life. If you are ready to discuss your defense options with an experienced team of Nashville money laundering attorneys, contact McNally Law today for more information about our criminal defense services and to schedule your consultation.