4 Potential Defenses to Federal Money Laundering Charges

Posted on in Money Laundering

Chicago federal criminal defense lawyerFederal money laundering charges can result in years of prison time. Financial crimes are taken very seriously by the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. If you are up against charges for money laundering, building a strong defense is your top priority right now. Even after any judicially-imposed penalties have been completed, you could be left a felon. Being a felon closes doors - it may be extremely difficult to find the type of job you want or desirable housing. There are a number of possible defense strategies. The particular strategy your lawyer will use is heavily dependent on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. After assessing your case, your attorney will design a defense that is most likely to work well for you. 

What Are Some Defense Strategies for Money Laundering?

There are a number of strategies your lawyer may want to use, some specific to money laundering, and others more general. You may have a good defense that is not listed here, so make sure to speak with an attorney to find out whether another defense could apply to your situation. Some defense strategies for money laundering include: 

  • Legitimate source of funds - If there is a way to show that you were receiving the funds that you allegedly laundered from a legitimate source, this can be a very strong defense to money laundering. When it succeeds, the case can be dismissed or you could be acquitted at trial. 
  • Lack of knowledge - It sometimes happens that someone becomes tangled up in a money-laundering operation without realizing it. This could happen when an innocent person goes into business with a corrupt individual, who launders money without his partners knowing about it. 
  • Coercion or duress - If you were somehow forced into participating in a money-laundering scheme, you may be able to avoid a conviction. Mere social or familial pressure cannot establish this defense, nor can a need for money. However, if you were threatened or blackmailed into participating, you may have this type of case. 
  • Insufficient evidence - The government has the burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were accepting illegal funds and concealing them to make them appear legitimate. It will also need to be shown that you did so with a certain level of intent. 

In some cases, taking a plea bargain may ultimately be the best option. However, if your lawyer believes that you do have a very strong defense, they may suggest raising it at trial. In rare cases, charges have been dismissed before reaching the trial stage of the criminal justice procedure.

Call an Illinois Money Laundering Attorney

If you are up on money laundering charges, Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can seek out your strongest possible defense. Our experienced Chicago money laundering lawyers will thoroughly assess your case before selecting a defense strategy. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation. 



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