If you are being investigated for wire fraud, or if you have recently been arrested for or charged with wire fraud, it is essential to have an experienced Texas fraud crimes defense lawyer on your side. These are extremely serious charges, and you will want to take all possible steps to avoid a conviction. In the meantime, you should learn the following information about wire fraud charges in Texas.
You Can Face Wire Fraud Charges in a Variety of Circumstances
While most people do not use the term “wire” in everyday speech to refer to electronic interstate communications devices like cell phones or computers, the offense of wire fraud can be charged in situations involving nearly any type of fraudulent activity conducted through electronic communication or by using an electronic interstate communications device. Indeed, a person can face wire fraud charges if that person is alleged to have engaged in an attempt to defraud using a phone, text messaging, email, messaging over social media, sending materials through a fax machine, or by using any other electronic communication device.
Wire Fraud is a Federal Offense
Wire fraud is a federal offense, which means any wire fraud charges will be brought under federal law. Federal wire fraud charges in Texas will result in your case being heard in a federal courthouse, and there will be a federal prosecutor.
Wire Fraud Requires Proof of Essential Elements for a conviction
In order to convict you of wire fraud under federal law, a prosecutor will need to prove essential elements of wire fraud. While different jurisdictions have specific elements that the prosecution must show in order to get a conviction, there are similarities across the circuit. In general, the essential elements of wire fraud include the following:
· You intended to engage in a scheme to defraud; and
· You used an interstate wire communication or electronic communication device to further the scheme to defraud.
To be clear, a person does not have to engage in any behavior that actually defrauds, or that results in another party being defrauded, in order to be charged with wire fraud. Rather, you must intend to defraud, and you must use an electronic communication device in an attempt to defraud. Given that intent is so important for a prosecutor to get a conviction, a common defense in wire fraud cases is that you did not intend to defraud, even if you were involved in a scheme or action that led to a party being defrauded or that could have resulted in another party being defrauded.
Penalties for Wire Fraud Are Severe
The penalties for wire fraud are extremely severe. Under federal law, a wire fraud conviction can result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. When wire fraud is charged in connection with other federal fraud offenses, including conspiracy charges, the penalties can be even more severe.
Contact Our Dallas Wire Fraud Defense Lawyers
When you are facing wire fraud charges, youneed to have an aggressive Dallas wire fraud defense attorney on your side, and our firm can help. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC for more information about developing a defense strategy for your case.