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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1066860836-1.jpgMost federal crimes related to immigration are committed by people trying to bypass immigration laws and remain in the country illegally or help someone else do so. Immigration services fraud is different - it is a crime committed against immigrants who are generally attempting to comply with the law. Immigration services fraud occurs when someone fraudulently claims to be able to provide services such as expedited work permits for immigrants. 

When this is done with the intent to defraud immigrants, federal fraud charges are likely. Unfortunately, people trying to lawfully immigrate sometimes face charges after being taken advantage of in one of these schemes. If you are in either situation, it is important that you take prompt steps to protect yourself, starting with calling a lawyer. 

How Does Immigration Services Fraud Work?

Legal immigrants may not always have an easy time staying in compliance. Work permits and visas must be kept current, and there is a lot of documentation to keep track of. The process of applying for any form of legal residency can take a long time and become frustrating. This is when fraudulent immigration services schemes come in. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_506693812.jpgEver since the internet became commonplace, a surprising amount of crime has moved online. Many people erroneously feel that it is “safer” to engage in criminal activity from the comfort of their own computer chair. Some federal crimes, like child pornography and certain types of fraud, are now almost exclusively committed over the internet. However, since the pandemic began and more people were kept home, new and different types of federal crimes have found space in the virtual sphere. 

The FBI is now making a push to crack down on cybercrime. If you were caught in a recent bust of some type or found yourself under arrest over an online activity, you must take steps to protect yourself immediately. Contacting a skilled federal crimes attorney is a good start. 

Which Federal Crimes Are Now Committed Over the Internet?

Many people accused of internet-based crimes are surprised to learn that they are being charged federally instead of at the state level. The reason for this is that when you use the internet to do something illegal, you are almost certainly “touching” another state or interstate commerce in some way. This can push you into federal jurisdiction and up the seriousness of your situation tenfold. 

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Posted by on in Fraud

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_567634105.jpg Credit card fraud can be a crime carried out on a large scale. Some criminal organizations work to steal information from hundreds or thousands of people at a time, often casting a wide net with some type of online scam. However, in other cases, credit card fraud can be charged based on a single incident of using a credit card you had physically in your possession, but without its owner’s permission. Regardless of the facts alleged, credit card fraud is an extremely serious charge that can lead to 10 years in federal prison if you are convicted. It is important that you speak with a qualified attorney as soon as you know you have been accused. 

What Actions Could Be Considered Credit Card Fraud?

Like many federal criminal statutes, credit card fraud laws cover an extremely wide range of conduct ranging from the decidedly malicious to the perhaps innocent. In some cases, the defendant and the alleged victim know each other. In others, the fraud was part of a larger pattern of crime. Types of credit card fraud include: 

  • Skimming - A device that records credit card information is surreptitiously placed in the credit card strip reader at a place of business, often a gas station. Victims use their cards as normal, and their information is collected by the fraudster. Using such a device generally shows a pretty clear intent to commit large-scale fraud. 

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

chicago federal crimes defense lawyerFor many people accused of a federal crime, their most pressing and immediate fear is of going to prison. The reality is that most people convicted of a federal crime will serve some length of incarceration. Unlike state courts, federal courts are less likely to hand down a sentence of probation and more likely to send convicted people to a corrections facility. Generally, probation for a federal crime will only be available to those convicted of very low-level offenses and with minimal to no criminal history. If you have been charged with a federal crime, you will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who can try to argue that a harsh prison sentence is not warranted. 

When is Probation Possible for a Federal Offense? 

Generally, when the statutory sentence for a given offense is six months incarcerated or less, a federal court may have the option of sentencing a defendant to probation without serving any time locked up. For offenses that carry sentences of more than six months, but less than a year, a mixed sentence of probation and incarceration can be ordered. Anything longer, and you are very likely to serve time in prison. 

Your criminal history is also a factor here. For those with no criminal history, judges may be more likely to consider probation where it is possible. First-time defendants typically have quite an advantage here. However, a very minor record, especially if it has been a long time since your last conviction, is not necessarily a complete disqualifier. Your attorney may still be able to make a case that probation is the appropriate sentence based on all the surrounding circumstances of your alleged crime. 

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

chicago criminal defense lawyerLast year, many Americans were unable to travel to spend time with loved ones in other states. Travel restrictions made it quite difficult for most people to make their customary holiday trip home to visit family outside of Illinois. This year, more people are expected to travel between states for the winter holidays. However, both flying and crossing state lines are activities that could put you within federal jurisdiction should you be accused of a crime while traveling. 

Facing federal charges of any kind can ruin your holiday celebrations, often for many years to come if you are convicted. If something like this has happened to you, it is important that you quickly get in contact with a skilled defense attorney to maximize your chances of avoiding harsh penalties. 

What Federal Crimes Might Be Committed During Holiday Travel?

Holiday travel can be stressful in the best circumstances. Getting arrested by federal agents during your holiday trip far from home is a different level of stress. Common federal crimes holiday travelers are charged with include: 

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