Tampa federal criminal defense attorneys are often asked about wire fraud and mail fraud charges because they are so commonly used, yet never actually defined properly. In our experience, this relates to how vague and overused the charges are in the media. All other charges specifically provide the elements of the charge in the title/name of it, while mail fraud and wire fraud are left up to essentially the discretion and interpretation of the Assistant United States Attorney handling the matter. These charges offer prosecutors a tremendous range of discretion as to when to file such charges.
Generally, mail and wire fraud relate to use of wire and/or the United States Postal Service to commit a felony. The easiest way to think about this is in a tax return case. In a tax return case, the defendants use the United States Post Office to receive and/or submit fraudulent tax returns. Thus, the United States Postal Service becomes a conduit or medium for the commission of the fraud and felony. In this example, the United States Attorney’s Office could potential charge the hypothetical individual with mail fraud.
These charges are significant because they are additional charges on top of the underlying substantive charges. As we have discussed elsewhere in our Tampa federal criminal defense attorney blog, the federal scoring system gives Judges and Magistrates significant discretion in sentencing criminal defendants in the federal system. Obviously, the more charges one faces the more difficult it is to avoid a lengthy federal prison sentence.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning wire fraud and/or mail fraud, contact the Tampa federal criminal defense attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have handled thousands of criminal cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area and always offer free case consultations. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa federal criminal defense attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa federal criminal defense attorney blog and look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the future.