Understanding Some Basics on the Florida Money Laundering Act
Being charged with a criminal offense is never an easy thing, and many times people find themselves giving up for lack of knowledge. Money laundering is one crime that many people hear of and automatically assume they understand. However, understanding only the meaning of a term is not enough, especially in criminal matters.
You also need to understand other vital information. For example, you need to know the penalties of the crime and the actions that make a person guilty. In Florida, the Money Laundering Act aims to punish all the people found guilty of the crime. When found guilty of money laundering, an individual stands to face charges both in a state or federal court.
Understanding some vital information on the law that governs money laundering can help you and your qualified criminal attorney solidly defend your case.
What Is Money Laundering?
Firstly, money laundering is a federal crime, which means that the crime’s penalties are quite severe. The act of laundering money involves engaging in financial transactions to hide the origin of illegally obtained money. People may launder money obtained through bribes, extortion, human trafficking, and many other illegal ways. To launder illegally obtained money, criminals reroute the funds into genuine sources such as legitimate businesses.
The Florida Money Laundering Act
In Florida, the law governing money laundering falls under Section 896.101, Florida Money Laundering Act. According to the law;
- any person who processes a financial transaction ranging between $301 to $19,999 worth of laundered money in one year commits a third-degree felony.
- a person who processes a financial transaction ranging between $20,000 to $99,999 worth of laundered money in one year in one year commits a second-degree felony.
- any individual who processes an amount that exceeds $100,00 worth of laundered money in one year in one year commits a first-degree felony.
The penalty for a third-degree felony is up to 5 years imprisonment in state prison, whereas the sentence for a second-degree felony is up to 15 years in state prison. If found guilty of a first-degree offense, you risk spending up to 30 years in state prison.
Apart from going to prison, a guilty person could pay back twice the amount they laundered or a fine of up to $250,000. The decision depends on which between the two (the $250,000 or double the laundered money) is higher.
Proving a Money Laundering Case
A court finds a person guilty of money laundering if;
- the individual knew about the source of the money
- the individual knew that the financial transaction/s conducted were helping to hide the illegal origin of the money
Some of the financial transactions that qualify as laundering include;
- wire transfers
- bank deposits
- monetary gifts
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
A qualified criminal attorney can help you by forwarding to the court defenses that could help you win your case. For example, an attorney can help you prove that you did not know the money you transacted was illegally-obtained. They can also help you discover other defense opportunities.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are accused of money laundering and need help proving your innocence, contact the qualified Fort Lauderdale criminal attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656 to receive the legal help you need.