Founding partner Thomas Kenniff, was recently interviewed by FOX regarding the tragedy that occurred at a U.S. military recruiting facility.
While it may seem like an excellent way to save time and money by using the same attorney from case to case, in addition to having an attorney who you´ve developed a good rapport with and who is familiar to you, in the long run, this is very rarely a good idea. Some people find using different attorneys within the same law firm to be beneficial, but it is rare to find someone successfully using the same attorney in more than one type of case. There are several reasons for this.
Attorneys spend several years studying in college, followed by several more additional years of studying in a law school. During law school, different types of case law are examined by law school students, but these studies are geared more towards teaching future lawyers about the process of researching case law than how to represent clients in one or another type of litigation. Presenting cases to juries and judges, drawing up court documents, the many different methods of producing witness´ statements, and cross examination of witnesses called on by the opposing party are covered in law school classes, also.
Much of the process of litigation involves case preparation. This includes, in an injury case, gathering of medical records, questioning witnesses and gathering their statements, researching case law, taking photographic evidence of the accident scene, talking with first responders and other government employees who were on-scene at the accident, to name a few.
The type of work required to prepare an attorney to represent you in an injury case is very different from the work needed to prepare an attorney to represent a client in any other type of case. There are different types of evidence needed, and hopefully, a different defendant. Also, after spending time in one type of litigation, attorneys become more familiar with the staff in the different courtrooms, and also with the individual judges who hear cases. Judges have been known to be overly particular about certain things, including things that have nothing to do with the case being heard, but rather with how paperwork is completed and presented and other things unrelated to a case. Having an attorney who is familiar with the pet peeves of the judge who will be presiding over your injury case can be more important to the outcome of your case than your familiarity with the attorney providing his or her expertise.
In addition to case preparation, the attorney representing you must be knowledgeable about your specific type of injury. If there is an insurance company opposing your lawsuit, they will have their own list of experts who are paid to discredit you and your injury. Expert witnesses are often paid large sums of money in an effort to protect financial assets from injury case awards. Hiring an attorney who provided exccellent representation in your divorce will leave you without your own list of expert witnesses to provide testimony for your side of the lawsuit. Again, this is an advantage that you don´t want to exchange just to have an attorney who is familiar to you.
Another aspect that you need to take into consideration regarding retaining an attorney who has been specifically trained in injury law is experience in the courtroom. There is a great deal of different between a divorce case, which rarely goes before a jury, and an injury case, which most likely will be decided by a jury. Courtroom presentation can make or break a case, and again, the attorney´s experience with the current situation is very important to your financial wellbeing.
If you truly need to have an attorney who is more familiar to you than someone who is completely new, it is best to see if there is another partner in the same firm, or, possibly, another attorney who your ´old´ attorney will refer you to. There are too many risks involved in retaining an inexperienced attorney. Experience in one practice area of law does not guarantee experience in another practice area.
Court cases of many types can be extremely complex, with many different variables affecting the outcome of each case. Some practice areas of law are more complicated than other areas, but adding in an opposition who has much to lose financially, motivating them to actually fight against you, creates the need to retain an attorney who is experienced in your specific type of case, be it injury, discrimination, or even breach of contract.
Consistent successes in the courtroom may show that an attorney is adept at one or two practice areas, but even that is no guarantee that he or she will always be able to win a case. However, with many types of cases, particularly injury cases, most attorneys wil n ot accept a case if they feel they cannot win. This is largely because the losing party is typically ordered by the court to pay for court costs. In a divorce, this is not usually standard billing practice. For standard procedures, such as drawing up a will or power of attorney, or transfer of property, there is usually a set fee, and no ongoing attorney-client relationship is created, except for updating the documents involved.
So, in short, you can most certainly retain the same attorney for your current injury case if you were really impressed with their handling of your other legal issues. But, you really shouldn´t, for several reasons. Calling their office for a referral might be an excellent way to begin your search for a new attorney who can successfully represent you in your current needs.
About The Author
This blog post was written by Marc Albert, a premier NYC Personal Injury Attorney, who has helped hundred’s of clients in NYC – get the compensation they need when suffering, and injured.
One crime that is certainly treated very seriously by the legal system is driving while under the influence of alcohol. Being convicted of this crime can produce some pretty serious consequences for the accused. Not having proper representation can put a defendant at risk. Below are several reasons why you need a DUI lawyer.
1. You Could Go to Jail
One of the worst consequences of being convicted of driving while under the influence is the possibility of spending time behind bars. This is even the case for first time offenders. You could spend over 90 days in jail. If your blood alcohol level is high enough, the amount of jail time could be doubled.
If you have been convicted of a DUI before, the amount of time spent locked up could grow exponentially. These days, it’s not uncommon for a person convicted of multiple DUIs to be sentenced to five years in a state prison.
Spending time incarcerated is no laughing matter. Not only is your freedom gone, but your life is constantly at risk. If you are put into general population, there is a good chance that you will be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a felon doing hard time.
2. You Could Lose Your Driving Privileges
If you enjoy the freedom to drive as you please, you should absolutely have representation from a DUI attorney in court. Otherwise, you could lose your driving privileges. If convicted, you could have your driver’s license suspended. Driving with a suspended license is a serious crime in and of itself that could result in serious jail time and fines. If you receive multiple DUI convictions, you could have your licensed confiscated permanently.
Even in cases when a person convicted of a DUI is allowed to drive again, there may be serious limitations. This could include a device being placed on the ignition that requires a breathalyzer test to be performed on the driver before the car will start. This can be extremely awkward especially if you have passengers in your vehicle.
3. Your Car Insurance Will Suffer
Another serious consequence of being convicted of a DUI is what it can do to your car insurance. First, your insurance rates are likely to go through the roof. Insurance is a risk averse business. Insurance companies like selling insurance to people that are unlikely to file a claim. Being convicted of a DUI certainly raises the probability that person will be involved in a future accident.
In fact, in certain cases, a car insurance company may just drop a client completely after a DUI conviction. This can create a serious problem for a driver since it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance. Being in an accident without insurance can be even worse. Your entire savings could be wiped out.
4. A Conviction Can Be Avoided with Good Representation
These and other consequences like significant fines and community service can be avoided. Just because a person is accused of driving while under the influence does not mean a conviction will take place. However, to achieve an acquittal, proper legal representation is required.
For example, there is a lot of science involved when accusing someone of this crime. Usually this includes a breathalyzer test. A seasoned DUI attorney could prove that the test was faulty or inconclusive. The blood alcohol level may have been too low for a DUI to have occurred, or the driver’s medication may have interfered with the reading. In cases when a breathalyzer was not performed, it can be even easier to avoid a conviction since there may not be enough evidence.
5. You Could Get a Plea Bargain
In certain cases, a conviction is more likely. With a good DUI lawyer, however, you could obtain a plea bargain for a reduced sentence. This may mean staying out of jail. To get this kind of deal though, you need someone who knows how to maneuver though the legal system in a jurisdiction to obtain this kind of deal from a judge. Without an experienced DUI lawyer, you may not be able to obtain a plea deal and may be forced to live with the maximum sentence.
About the author
If you have been charged with violating OFAC and economic sanctions laws, you will need to secure high powered legal representation immediately. The laws laid down by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) have become more exact, minute, and stringent than ever.
Likewise, the penalties exacted by the United States Department of Justice on behalf of OFAC are being enforced more frequently and effectively. This is one area of the law where you do not want to find yourself on the wrong side of without adequate counsel in your corner.
What Is OFAC And Why Is It A Bad Idea To Violate Economic Sanctions?
OFAC is the agency that regulates and supervises the imposition of economic sanctions and embargoes against trade for nations (and sometimes specific individuals) who are judged to be in dereliction of justice for any number of reasons.
Usually, this status of dereliction of justice will be assigned to nations that commit multiple and egregious human rights violations, or to those that engage in criminal activity, such as drug or slave traffic.
What Are The Penalties Assessed For Violating The OFAC Sanctions?
Whatever the precise cause may be that earns a nation or individual a spot on the OFAC ban list, it is next to impossible to get off of it. Likewise, a person who is caught doing business or having any other type of unauthorized contact with a nation on the list is in for serious legal trouble.
The penalties assessed by the Department of Justice for violating the rules laid down by OFAC can include heavy fines and, in some instances, prison time. If you have received a summons to appear before a court on suspicion of violating any of these international sanctions, you will need a strong team of defense attorneys to plead your case.
Who Can Be Found In Violation Of Economic Sanction Laws?
The list of people and organizations who can be found in violation of economic sanctions laws is a disturbingly long one. Obviously, any company or person who does business with a country that is on the ban list, such as a person that sells goods to the government of North Korea through a third party, will be found in violation of these laws.
However, you should be aware that you can also be found in violation of sanctions for merely having contact with family and friends who reside in nations that are on the list. If this is the case, you will need first class legal representation to aid you.
Raiser & Kenniff Are Here To Plead Your Case
If you are ready to fight against the charges brought against you, you will need strong legal representation. The climate of public, political, and legal opinion is a very harsh and moralistic one when it comes to laws regarding economic sanctions against certain nations. If you are to have a fair and fighting chance, you’ll need strong counsel to beat the charges.
What makes Raiser & Kenniff so different from the usual run of defense attorneys? For a start, both of these long serving lawyers have spent many years on the complete other end of the legal spectrum – i.e., as public prosecutors. Both men practiced for many moons as prosecutors, frequently on behalf of the state in cases very similar to your own.
This means that Raiser & Kenniff are uniquely qualified to understand how a prosecutor thinks and operates in a court of law. Having a legal counsel with such extraordinary qualifications in your corner is a boon that you’d be well advised to take full advantage of.
Contact Raiser & Kenniff To Represent You In A Court Of Law
Raiser & Kenniff can assist you in your hour of greatest need. If you feel that you are being unfairly targeted by OFAC or any of its subsidiary offices, you can call on this high powered firm to provide you with excellent legal counsel and representation.
If you’d like to learn more about how Raiser & Kenniff can help you win your case in court, a risk and obligation free consultation can easily be arranged. Please feel free to contact the firm at its official company website today.
We here at Raiser & Kenniff know that clients charged with immigration fraud face an uphill battle. On one hand, the prosecution is going to press hard on the fraud angle, knowing that a jury will have little sympathy for an immigrant. That’s a double angle to defend, which is why you need the right professional.
At Raiser & Kenniff, we know that a lawyer’s word is only as good as his reputation. That’s why we freely invite prospective clients to use the search engine of their choice to “hear” about us on the wider internet.
Raiser & Kenniff lawyers make regular appearances on American media outlets. Our jurisprudence experts are called upon to provide sharp, accurate and incisive legal analysis of significant news events. Our timely and informative legal analysts are trusted by millions of people. Because we’re so well known, clients can rely on us to make sure that they get their fair day in court.
Even senior law firms that have been practicing for years rarely have experience in immigration fraud cases. Current law permits literally any lawyer, including inexperienced and ill-prepared firms, to represent clients in an immigration fraud case. Clients are left wondering where to turn for experienced professionals in the field of immigration fraud.
Raiser & Kenniff was founded by former prosecutors, the very same experts that once advocated for the government. No other law firm has been mentored and guided by such a top team of elite prosecutorial advocates.
New York Tough
The Empire State’s judicial system can sometimes feel like a bureaucratic jungle. That’s why you need a powerful punch on your side, protecting you from unfair and illegal encroachment on your constitutional and other legal rights. Immigration fraud and other serious allegations need a tough response before judicial overreach leaves clients facing serious repercussions.
All of the lawyers at Raiser & Kenniff are New York tough, experienced, battle-hardened and ready to shield our clients from the grasping juggernaut of the government. Our law firm was built by former prosecutors, grizzled veterans of the vast labyrinth of the New York legal system.
Time is of the Essence
Once a client gets swept up in the legal system over a charge of immigration fraud, time becomes a precious commodity. Every day of hesitation only increases the risk of felony convictions, deportation or worse. At Raiser & Kenniff, we know just how critically important it is to get good legal representation right away.
Risk Free Consultation
Click on the appropriate section of our website today. Simply tell us a little bit about you and the basics of your case, then ‘Submit’. You will immediately get a confirmation email from us and we will quickly work to schedule a free consultation with one of our legal analysts.
Feel free to also contact us the more traditional way, at the physical addresses and telephone numbers below.
Social Media Presence
We understand in this modern digital age that having a strong, vibrant presence on social media is a great way for us to be able to inform clients about who we are, and how we can help them with their case.
You can find our blog here, follow us here, like us here, etc.
Outstanding Excellence in the Field
Some lawyers avoid too much disclosure of their awards, nominations and certified ratings, feeling it would come across as too self-laudatory. We say nonsense! We are very proud of what we do, and the justice that we are able to see delivered on behalf of our clients every single day. We proudly publish our awards and achievements on our website. Raiser & Kenniff is the law firm you can trust.
We Can Help
Being informed of serious charges like immigration fraud can be overwhelming. That’s why we reach out to the community so that potential clients can find an experienced team of legal experts to give them the proper defense that they deserve. At Raiser & Kenniff, we will guide you every step of the way, and go to battle for you to defend you in cases of immigration fraud.
For more than three decades, the federal government has aggressively prosecuted individuals for a wide range of security fraud charges. Following the economic downturn of 2008, both federal and New York State prosecutors working alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the SEC have aggressively reviewed allegations of illegal securities trades.
Of great concern are trades that are made illegally based on information that is not available to the public. This increased vigilance on the part of New York prosecutors as well as by the FBI and the SEC has had positive benefits, but it has also had some negative consequences. One of the negative consequences of this increased vigilance is that innocent individuals, that is investors who have broken no laws, are finding themselves facing criminal investigation.
It would be naive for any individual to think that just because they are innocent and just because the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, they can walk into court on charges of securities fraud and defend themselves. The truth of the matter is that prosecutors will zealously pursue anyone who they feel has committed securities fraud whether the accusation is truthful or not. They will use title 18 United States code section 1348 to aggressively pursue, prosecute, and imprison anyone they feel has violated this law. Simply claiming innocence will not protect a person from this prosecution, nor will it protect their career or their livelihood. For this reason, anyone who is accused of securities fraud should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with these matters.
Defining Securities Fraud
According to Title 18 US Code Section 1348, securities fraud is defined as the attempt to scheme and defraud a person in connection with any security. This would include using deception, lies, or trickery to obtain money or property that is connected to the purchase or sale of securities. By law this crime carries a punishment of up to 25 years in prison and a fine that will not exceed one quarter of $1 million.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Just about every single crime can be broken down into smaller crimes that were committed together to create the whole. This is definitely case when discussing securities fraud. In order to convict an individual of securities fraud, the prosecution must prove without doubt that the defendant intentionally engaged in conduct or that they intentionally engaged in business activities designed to defraud or deceive people. This could include something as simple as making false statements.
For a securities fraud charge to stick, the deceitful actions must take place in connection with securities transactions. The prosecution has the responsibility to prove that the defendant used the security as part of their scheme in an attempt to defraud someone. The security could have been used directly or indirectly. Finally, the prosecution must clearly show that in all of the above mentioned elements, the defendant acted knowingly and intentionally.
New York state and the United States government takes securities fraud seriously. According to section 1348 of title 18 of the United States Code, the penalty for securities fraud can be up to 25 years or $2,500 fine. There are a lot of mitigating factors that could increase or decrease a defendant’s sentence. A good criminal defense attorney will understand circumstances that might increase the defendant’s sentence or decrease it. They will work with their client and with the prosecutor to get the lowest sentence possible.
Get an Attorney Now
Something that an individual who is accused of securities fraud must understand is that the US government and the state of New York do not care whether or not you knew that the actions you committed were criminal. They do not care if you committed securities fraud because you were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. They do not care about the negative effect an accusation of securities fraud will have on you, your family, or your business.
Being charged with securities fraud requires you to take immediate action. Anyone who was unfortunate enough to become a target of the government in one of these investigations must take steps to protect their family, their career, and their freedom. The best way to do this is by sitting down and speaking with one of our criminal defense attorneys. With more than 30 years of experience behind us, we understand security fraud accusations, and we are committed to providing you with the defense you deserve.
Wire fraud is a serious federal criminal charge. If you’re being investigated for wire fraud, you’ll be looked at for using an interstate wire transfer. This includes telephone calls, emails, or money wire transfers. This investigation will take place to further some criminal scheme. Wire frauds normally involve a federal indictment or other various charges. Wire fraud is one of the most common federal criminal charges and can be one of the most serious. If you’ve been accused of committing a wire fraud, you need to seek legal representation immediately.
Over 30 Years of Experience
Raiser & Kenniff, PC has been providing people just like you with solid legal representation for over 30 years. When it comes to seeking legal representation for wire fraud, we have the experience you need in the courtroom to ensure you’re getting the most solid representation New York City has to offer you. Wire fraud is a serious crime wish harsh repercussions. You don’t need some run-of-the-mill attorney to handle your case; you need a highly skilled and experienced professional fighting for you. When you come to Raiser & Kenniff, PC, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Our legal team will aggressively investigate your unique case and fight for what’s in your best interest. No matter how complicated or simple your case may be, you can trust that we’ll always execute an effective defense to ensure you get the best possible outcome. The last thing you want is to spend the next few decades behind bars or paying outrageous fines. We’re here to make sure you’re facing minimal charges to ensure you have a bright future.
This Will Impact the Rest of Your Life
Wire fraud isn’t something you can erase. It is not a victimless crime. Unfortunately, if you’ve been charged with wire fraud, you’ll have to live with it for the rest of your life. Being accused of committing a wire fraud is not something you should take lightly. At the first sign of trouble, you need to turn to our experienced legal teams at Raise & Kenniff, PC to ensure you’re getting the better end of the deal. Don’t waste your time on an attorney who isn’t concerned with fighting tooth and nail for you. Choose an attorney who is willing to jump in as if it’s their own legal battle. At Raiser & Kenniff, PC, we do just that.
What You Can Expect From Our Legal Teams:
Effective and aggressive strategies
Affordable payment options
100% satisfaction GUARANTEED
Don’t Delay – Get An Attorney Today
The last thing you need to do when facing wire fraud charges, is to delay obtaining an attorney. Not only does this make you look suspicious to the defense, but it can greatly damage your case. The smartest thing to do is to hire an attorney the second charges are brought against you. Don’t waste time searching for through the phone book. You need an attorney, and you need one now. Raiser & Kenniff, PC is always available to represent you to ensure your future is protected.
Budget-Friendly Legal Services
Are you worried about how much an attorney will cost you? Don’t be. We understand how hard it is to come up with costly legal fees during a time like this. When you come to us, we’ll work with hard to ensure you have a budget-friendly payment plan set in place. We’re not in the business of robbing you. We’re in the business of helping you during the most difficult time of your life. Be sure to ask us about what payment options are available to you when you call us.
Get a FREE Consultation
Want to know what the best plan of action is for you? Call Raiser & Kenniff, PC today. We’ll get you started with a FREE consultation to help you determine what your next step should be. We’ll walk you through, step by step, to ensure we’re a good fit for you and your case. Give us a call now to schedule your initial consultation. When you’re avoiding time behind bars, you’ll be glad you made the call.
Insurance fraud is more common than most people realize. There are individuals who do things for the sole purpose of fraudulently getting an insurance payout. Insurance companies have refused to pay claims to people who legitimately are entitled to compensation. Every year false insurance claims cost the insurance industry hundreds of millions of dollars. This is something that happens in all types industries that have insurance.
Auto Insurance Fraud
Many people perpetrate car accidents, fake traffic deaths and more so they can collect a payout from an insurance company. The people who do this will often make exaggerated claims to increase their compensation. In some cases, it is done by groups of people who have experienced previous success in obtaining false insurance payouts. At times, even insurance adjusters from companies have been found guilty of participating in such fraud. These are individuals who will drive into busy intersections and purposefully slam on their breaks causing an accident. They may be seen by a physician who is part of the fraud and claim extensive physical injury when there is none.
Medical Insurance Fraud
People who commit medical insurance fraud cost the medical industry billions of dollars each year. There are three types of fraud most common in the medical insurance industry. A claim of personal injury that is actually false. Too much treatment for an injury that does not exist or one that may never heal. There are also physicians who file false claims of services provided with medical insurance companies.
Life Insurance Fraud
There are individuals who will perpetrate a false death in order to obtain the life insurance payout. In many cases, this type of fraud is part of a complex scheme. Some individuals have hired people to help stage a death. There have been companies who took out life insurance policies on their employees to collect life insurance funds. There is also a life insurance fraud called viatical fraud. This is when people with terminal illnesses are recruited. A number of life insurance policies are taken out on the terminally ill individual. Many of these policies are designed to have annuities with them. The terminally ill person is compensated with a certain amount of money up to their death. The individuals who participate in this fraud are often members of the medical profession or family members.
Workers Compensation Insurance Fraud
This type of fraud occurs when an individual attempt to obtain compensation after having falsely claimed to have been injured on the job. There are others who will greatly magnify the injuries received from an accident in order to extend a benefit period. This type of fraud has caused insurance companies as well as employers to place strict requirements for collecting these types of benefits. The accidents must be reported immediately, and treatment will not be compensated unless it is determined to be necessary by an experienced medical professional. In some cases, a second or third opinion of a person’s condition from a physician may be requested by an employer or insurance company.
Home Insurance Fraud
There are property owners who intentionally destroy or damage their property in order to obtain a payout from an insurance company. In many cases, people who do this will be motivated by financial problems, foreclosure issues and more. It is common for a person who does this to have another individual destroy the property while they are not near it. There have been cases of business owners attempting to get compensation for inventory they did not have or was removed prior to any damage taking place at the business.
Relief From Fraud
Insurance companies, businesses, as well as individuals, can be victims of insurance fraud. This is a time when an experienced and knowledgeable attorney should be contacted. They will be able to help by knowing the law and understanding the details of the situation. An attorney will know how to recognize the red flags associated with fraudulent circumstances. They are able to protect their clients from being harmed by a false insurance claim. A lawyer will also know how to handle the representatives of an insurance company who does not want to pay the full claim. They can assist individuals in getting the level of compensation they deserve.
Facing a criminal charge for extortion, or being accused of being in violation of the Hobbes Act, are very serious charges. Each of these charges can carry severe penalties, including a prison sentence. Violations of the Hobbes Act can mean serving time in a federal penitentiary. In some cases, a person can even be charged with both of these cries at the same time.
Anyone that has found themselves facing one or both of these charges will need to find a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your defense attorney, if facing Hobbes Act charges, will also need to be experienced and licensed to practice Federal Law. It is important that you secure the legal services of a law firm that understands the seriousness of these charges and has the ability to aggressively represent your case.
Extortion is defined as when a person obtains something of value through the use of threats or force. Extortion is often referred to as “blackmail.” Under the eyes of the law, the threat does not have to be physical violence to be considered extortion. The threat must “induce harm” if completed, and may include anything that would cause emotional, physical, financial, or even reputation harm. Extortion must include the gaining of something of value and not just a threat.
The Hobbes Act was enacted in1951 and relates to extortion or robbery concerning interstate commerce. This Act was initially designed to fight corruption within the labor unions that were disrupting products from flowing from state to state. However, the Hobbes Act has been used to prosecute any form of extortion or robbery that interrupts the flow of commerce, regardless of its source. Additionally, the Hobbes Act also covers the act of accepting money for goods or services that they are not entitled to receive by any public official. Punishment under the Hobbes Act dictates that anyone convicted of this crime must pay a large fine, serve up to 20 years in prison, or both.
If You Have Been Charged With One Or Both Of These Crimes
If you have been charged with extortion or a violation of the Hobbes Act, the first thing that you must remember is that it is a charge, not a conviction. Yu are innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law. With this in mind, you must seek professional legal counsel so that your rights as the accused are protected and so you can build a defense.
There are many gray areas within the laws of extortion. What may seem like a simple statement of facts may be seen as a “threat” to another person, creating the illusion of extortion. There may also be several other issues at hand that clearly show that the act was not extortion or a violation of Hobbes. However, only an experienced attorney will be able to correctly state the facts based on the evidence, and in accordance with the law, for a proper defense.
It is also important to remember that your defense attorney cannot promise that you will not be convicted. Ultimately, the decision to convict or not is in the hands of the jury. However, your defense attorney can promise to work aggressively to present your case, prove your innocence, or even ask for lesser charges if it is beneficial to your case.
Overall, your best defense for these charges will be to have an attorney who understands the fundamentals of these charges and how the law applies to the circumstances of your case. Working with a defense attorney will ensue that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair trial.
New York is a major port of call for businesses around the world. Customs agents who work in New York work diligently uphold the customs laws and regulations of the United States government. This is true for those who work at airports, ports, and at land border crossings. Customs fraud is defined as intentionally attempting to misrepresent information to customs agents with the goal of avoiding paying customs tariffs or bringing illegal or contraband items into the United States of America.
The United States government has no tolerance for individuals who violate their customs laws. Customs agents work closely with the Department of Justice in aggressively prosecuting anyone who violates US custom laws. The fines and penalties for customs fraud are severe. They can amount to tens of thousands of dollars and multiple years spent behind bars. Because of the serious ramifications of customs fraud, anyone who is accused of this crime should immediately speak to a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in customs fraud. No one wants to face a charge of customs fraud on their own. The outcome would not be positive.
There are many different methods that customs agents use in order to discover fraud. One way is through informants. These would be individuals who have been captured committing customs fraud. In exchange for a lesser sentence, they may provide information leading to the capture and arrest of someone who is committing customs fraud. Another way that customs officials can identify fraud is through inspections of goods an individual attempts to bring into the United States of America. They may find that the goods a person is trying to bring into the country do not match the description outlined on the invoice. These are just a few of the methods that customs agents use. Anyone who has found themselves on the wrong side of the United States Customs Agency knows that it is not an enjoyable position to be in.
Usually, custom agents require documentation showing that goods can legally be brought into the United States and showing that the goods the importer is carrying is what he claims them to be. Requesting these documents is usually the first step that customs agents will do in investigating customs fraud. An importer does have the legal right to refuse to surrender the requested documents. However, if and when the case ends up in court, the court has the power to force the importer to surrender the requested documents.
In many cases, once an investigation begins, custom agents can use what is called a pre-penalty. This allows them to require the importer to forfeit the value of their goods based on the fact that an alleged fraud has occurred. This forfeiture of goods can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for the importer. On their own, it is difficult, if not impossible, for an importer to stand up against the United States government in cases like these. Only by hiring a competent criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with customs fraud can they have a hope of keeping their property and maintaining their freedom.
If as a result of investigation it is clear that an importer has committed fraud, it is likely that they will be required to pay an expensive monetary fine. In addition to the fine, they may lose their goods, and they may lose the privilege to import things to the United States. Depending on the degree of fraud and whether or not the cargo being transported was legal, the importer may find themselves facing prison time.
With more than three decades of experience dealing with the New York legal system, our attorneys understand the complexities of the US customs systems. We use this knowledge, along with knowledge our attorneys have gained working as assistant district attorneys to create a strong defense for our clients. We are familiar with the ins and outs of the New York legal system, and we are confident in our ability to provide our clients with the best possible outcome in court.
If you or someone you love has been charged with customs fraud, do not leave the results up to chance. Contact our attorneys today and let us work with you to get you the best possible outcome.