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Posted on April 11, 2014 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
Perhaps you’ve already learned that it’s easier than you thought to get caught up in a money laundering scheme. Texas money laundering laws are constantly being updated to keep up with new ways of getting around the law. Money laundering is a serious criminal charge and can result in substantial financial penalties and time in a Texas penitentiary.
Harris County Money Laundering
If it can be shown that an alleged offender knowingly had an interest in concealing or transferring money related to criminal activity, being convicted of money laundering is a definite possibility. It is also illegal to receive, spend, transport, transfer, invest, finance or facilitate any monetary transaction proceeding from or intended to foster criminal activity.
A money laundering defendant can be convicted even if they were unaware of the criminal activity that the money facilitated. Merely being aware that the money was connected with criminal activity is sufficient grounds for conviction. There are even instances when a law enforcement official notifies an intermediary that certain funds are crime related.
Money Laundering Penalties
The punishment for a money laundering conviction depends on the amount of money involved. Previous criminal convictions can also influence the sentence that an offender is eligible to receive. The following money laundering penalties are available in the state of Texas:
State Jail Felony – a defendant can be convicted of a state jail felony if the value of the funds involved is greater than $1,500 but less than $20,000
Third Degree Felony – an alleged offender can be convicted of a 3rd degree felony if the value of the funds involved is greater than $20,000 but less than $100,000
Second Degree Felony – a defendant can be convicted of a 2nd degree felony if the value of the funds involved was greater than $100,000 but less than $200,000
First Degree Felony – an alleged offender can be charged with a 1st degree felony if the amount of money involved is greater than $200,000
Money Laundering Defense
Money laundering in Texas is described in Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code. The following defense strategies may be available to a money laundering defendant:
- lack of knowledge concerning the alleged facilitation of crime related funds
- the purpose of the defendant’s actions was to lawfully seize the funds
- the defendant had to act to ensure legal representation in accordance with the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
- an attorney received the money as payment for legal services rendered but was unaware that the funds were related to criminal activity
As with all criminal charges, the prosecution is required to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This high standard of proof is an essential aspect of the American judicial system.
Stay out of Jail
Money laundering charges are heavily prosecuted in the state of Texas. Without proper legal representation, you could be facing a lot of time in the slammer. The best thing you could do for yourself is to hire a qualified legal representative. Reach out to Brett A. Podolsky today for a free legal consultation session by calling 713.227.0087.
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