Whether it is referred to as postal fraud or mail fraud, it amounts to a criminal offense. Whenever someone utilizes a private mail service or the United States Postal Service to further a fraud or scheme, it amounts to mail fraud. Should you be charged with mail fraud, you need to immediately contact an experienced Newport Beach mail fraud lawyer.
There is a misperception about the phrase mail fraud, because it tends to imply that a fraud was entirely carried out through the mail service. The truth is the use of the “mail” in actuality can be rather minuscule to be considered mail fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice needs very little connection to “mail” in order to commence prosecution and seek imprisonment for fraud.
Mail Fraud Penalties
The penalties for mail fraud are severe. It is considered a white collar crime. The fines are prodigious and the incarceration time is staggering – the defendant could receive a sentence of up to twenty years in federal prison.
What Are the Possible Defenses?
There are a number of common defenses used to defend allegations of mail fraud.
- Elements of the Crime. It is squarely upon the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of the crime occurred. Here are the elements of the crime of mail fraud: (1) There was a scheme to commit a fraud; (2) the use of the mail system was utilized to further a mail fraud; and (3) there exists an intent to commit a fraud.
- Lack of Intent. As indicated previously specific intent to commit fraud is an element of the crime of mail fraud. It is often for people to get caught up in a scheme, but they honestly do not understand what was going on, and therefore they lack the requisite intent to be found guilty.
- Mistake of fact. Often, a mail order scheme is a set of complex factual issues. If an alleged participant in a fraudulent scheme did not know some of the key factual parts of the scheme, then he is not guilty.
Should you or a loved one be charged with mail fraud and you are in Newport Beach or Santa Ana in Orange County, you will need an experienced Newport Beach mail fraud lawyer immediately. The stakes are far too high to do otherwise, given the harshness of the fines and the potential jail time. Call our mail fraud lawyers today at (714) 379-8311. They are prepared to fight for your interests, and to protect your rights.