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At Alband, Lane & Balderrama, we understand the complexities and seriousness of money laundering charges in Fort Worth, Texas. Our team of experienced lawyers is dedicated to providing aggressive and strategic defense for individuals facing allegations related to money laundering. We possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to navigate the intricate legal landscape surrounding money laundering laws, protecting our clients' rights and guiding them through the legal process with skill and confidence.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering refers to the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions.
Proving money laundering in Texas, as in any jurisdiction, requires establishing certain elements and presenting evidence that demonstrates the commission of the crime. Money laundering cases can be complex, involving intricate financial transactions and multiple layers of concealment. To prove money laundering in Texas, the following elements generally need to be established:
- Financial Transaction: The prosecution must demonstrate the existence of a financial transaction involving funds or assets derived from illegal activity. This can include bank transfers, wire transfers, purchases, investments, or any other movement of money or assets.
- Knowledge of Illegality: The prosecution must show that the defendant knew or had reason to know that the funds or assets involved in the financial transaction were derived from illegal activities. This knowledge element is essential in proving the intent to launder money.
- Intent to Conceal or Promote Illegitimate Activity: The prosecution needs to establish that the defendant's purpose in engaging in the financial transaction was to conceal the true source of the funds or assets or to promote the underlying illegal activity. This intent to hide the illegal origins of the money is a crucial aspect of money laundering.
- Financial Gain: Money laundering often involves attempts to legitimize illicit funds or assets for personal or financial gain. The prosecution may need to demonstrate that the defendant intended to benefit from the laundered money or assets in some way.
Money Laundering Penalties in Texas
In Texas, money laundering is a serious offense and can result in significant penalties. The penalties for money laundering can vary depending on the amount of money involved and the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, money laundering is prosecuted under state and federal laws, so penalties can be imposed at both levels.
Under the Texas Penal Code, money laundering is a felony offense. The penalties for money laundering in Texas are as follows:
- If the value of the funds involved in the offense is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, it is a state jail felony. State jail felonies are punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term ranging from 180 days to 2 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- If the value of the funds involved in the offense is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, it is a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies carry a punishment of imprisonment for a term ranging from 2 to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- If the value of the funds involved in the offense is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000, it is a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies are punishable by imprisonment for a term ranging from 2 to 20 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- If the value of the funds involved in the offense is $300,000 or more, it is a first-degree felony. First-degree felonies carry a punishment of imprisonment for a term ranging from 5 to 99 years or life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Additionally, it's important to note that money laundering can also be prosecuted at the federal level under various federal statutes, such as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the Money Laundering Control Act (MLCA). Federal penalties for money laundering can be more severe and can include substantial fines and longer prison sentences.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are facing money laundering charges in Fort Worth, Texas, it is crucial to consult with a skilled money laundering lawyer as soon as possible. At Alband, Lane & Balderrama, we are committed to providing aggressive and effective legal representation to individuals facing these serious allegations.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us defend your rights, protect your future, and guide you through this challenging legal process.
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