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Defending Against Money Laundering Charges in Arizona

Money laundering is a serious criminal offense. It involves disguising money obtained through illegal activities to make them appear legitimate. It is a complex and heavily regulated area of law that can have severe consequences for those involved. 

If you are facing money laundering charges in Arizona, you need to understand the nature of the offense and the defenses available to you. At The Litwak Law Group, we specialize in providing strong criminal defense against money laundering charges. Call us today for expert guidance and protection of your rights.

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is a crime where mainly someone acquires or maintains an interest in, transacts, transfers, transports, receives or conceals the existence or nature of racketeering proceeds knowing or having reason to know that they are the proceeds of an offense..

Degrees of Money Laundering

There are three degrees of money laundering in Arizona.

  1. Money Laundering in the Third Degree:
  • Engaging in third-degree money laundering constitutes a class 6 felony. Although this is the least severe felony charge, individuals can still face a potential prison term ranging from four months to 5.75 years. 
  • Someone can be charged with Money Laundering in the Third Degree if they commit the following offenses:
    • During the course of a money transmission transaction, if an individual intentionally or knowingly offers or agrees to offer anything valuable to a money transmitter or any of its employees with the intent to influence or reward non-compliance with any requirement under title 6, chapter 12 (pertaining to financial banking and disclosure requirements), it constitutes an offense.
    • If someone, whether as an employee or in any other capacity, operates in the business of receiving money for transmission or transmitting money, and they receive something valuable based on an agreement or understanding that it is meant to influence or benefit them for non-compliance with any requirement under title 6, chapter 12, it is considered an offense.
  1. Money Laundering in the Second Degree:
  • 2nd Degree Money Laundering can occur with actions related to the concealment of racketeering proceeds, the transfer of assets or property related to racketeering, aiding in the transaction of property or assets related to the proceeds of an offense, and more. You can find the details of second degree money laundering here.
  • Committing second-degree money laundering constitutes a class 3 felony. If someone is charged with this offense, the potential prison sentence can range from 2 to 25 years, contingent upon the individual’s criminal record.
  1. Money Laundering in the First Degree:
  • Money Laundering in the First-Degree encompasses situations where an individual knowingly engages in or oversees the initiation, organization, planning, financing, direction, management, supervision, or business conduct related to any of the aforementioned activities.
  • This charge can also be applicable if any of the Second-Degree Money Laundering activities are carried out with the intention of facilitating terrorism or murder, either in the course of or for such purposes.

Possible Defenses to Money Laundering Charges

When facing money laundering charges, it is crucial to explore all available defenses to protect your rights and reputation. Here are some possible defenses that an experienced criminal defense attorney can employ on your behalf:

  • Lack of knowledge or intent: if you did not know that the money you were handling was obtained illegally, you may have a defense. You would need to prove that you were unaware of the illegal origin of the funds or that you had no intention to disguise their nature.
  • Insufficient evidence: Challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution is another defense strategy. Your attorney can scrutinize the investigative procedures, financial records, and witness testimonies to identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies in the case.
  • Entrapment: if law enforcement officials enticed you to commit the crime, you may have a defense. Entrapment occurs when the government’s actions go beyond merely providing an opportunity and actively encourage the commission of the offense.
  • Constitutional violations: Your attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances of your arrest, search, and seizure. They can then determine if any constitutional rights were violated during the investigation. If so, evidence obtained through these violations may be suppressed, weakening the prosecution’s case.
  • Mistaken identity: If you can demonstrate that you were wrongly identified or that there was confusion regarding your involvement in the alleged money laundering activities, a mistaken identity defense may be pursued.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Navigating the complexities of money laundering charges requires the expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Here’s how an attorney from The Litwak Law Group can assist you:

  • Comprehensive case evaluation: Your attorney will conduct a thorough examination of the evidence, scrutinize the prosecution’s case, and identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies that can be exploited in your defense strategy to either work toward a dismissal of the charges or obtain a not guilty at trial.
  • Protection of your rights: Your attorney will ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout the legal process, from the investigation to trial, safeguarding you against any potential violations.
  • Negotiation and plea bargaining: If appropriate, your attorney will explore opportunities for negotiation or plea bargaining with the prosecution to potentially reduce the charges or penalties you may face.
  • Building a strong defense: Your attorney will work diligently to gather evidence, interview witnesses, consult experts when necessary, and develop a strategic defense tailored to your specific circumstances.
  • Court representation: Your attorney will represent you in court, present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate for the best possible outcome on your behalf.

Facing money laundering charges in Arizona is a serious matter that requires immediate attention and expert legal representation. At The Litwak Law Group, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and future. If you need a strong defense against money laundering charges, call us today for a confidential consultation. Your future is worth fighting for.