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DC Federal Financial Criminal Penalties

Federal financial crimes can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with a federal financial offense, speak with a skilled financial crimes lawyer. A capable legal advocate with knowledge of DC federal financial criminal penalties could work to mitigate the consequences you may face. Call today and know that you are in good hands. En Español.

Federal Authorities That Investigate Financial Crimes

Many agencies are involved in investigating allegations in federal financial crimes. They include:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Labor
  • The Internal Revenue Service
  • Homeland Security
  • The Inspector General’s Office of a specific agency

As an example, when there is an allegation of undetermined fraud at the Department of State or Department of Defense, that Inspector General’s Office might become involved.

Common Penalties for Federal Financial Crimes

When DC federal financial criminal penalties are assessed in federal court, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are used. They are rules for a consistent sentencing policy for people convicted of federal crimes. The guidelines are advisory and provide judges with rules to guide them when they are sentencing a person for a federal crime. Judges are not required to use the range of penalties identified through the sentencing guidelines although they were mandatory until 2004 when the Supreme Court ruled they were unconstitutional.

Sentencing Guidelines

The sentencing guidelines use a table that identifies the appropriate range of penalties for a specific crime. For example, wire fraud has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. However, sentences are not determined by looking at the maximum penalty. A complicated analysis of the federal sentencing guidelines takes place and various factors are considered. Two important elements that are considered are, the severity of the crime that identifies the offense level and, the criminal history of the offender that determines the criminal history category.

Offense Level

The offense level establishes the seriousness of the crime and can be increased or reduced based on different aspects of the case and of the person involved. The values for the criminal history and the offense level are plotted on the Federal Sentencing Chart.

Criminal History Category

The criminal history category is established by looking at someone’s criminal history. When an individual has a conviction, an analysis is done to determine a point value of the conviction. The intersection of criminal history and the offense level identifies the advisory sentencing guidelines, which is the range of months on a charge. Sentencing is a complicated procedure in federal court and the guidelines are at the center of the process.

Consequences of Conviction

While jail time is one of the potential DC federal financial criminal penalties a person could face, there are relatively few mandatory jail sentences. One offense that could lead to incarceration is aggravated identity theft. When someone is using, possessing, or manipulating an individual or stealing a person’s identity to commit a financial crime, they face a mandatory two years in jail. That is in addition to any other sentence they might get on any other charge for which they have been found guilty.

Other factors are considered when a judge sentences an individual. When a person has no prior record or the amount of money is relatively low, that could keep the sentence low. As the amount of money rises, the potential sentence escalates. When the person’s role is that of a leader or an organizer, their potential time increases. When there are more than ten victims, the person’s potential sentence goes up.

Consulting a DC Federal Financial Crimes Attorney

A federal financial crimes attorney could be an invaluable asset in your case. They could leverage their experience in handling financial crimes when building your defense. Work with a qualified defense attorney that could work to mitigate the DC federal financial criminal penalties that you face.

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