Have you been arrested for money laundering in San Diego, California? If so, Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers can start fighting for you today. We’ve earned a trusted reputation for standing up for people facing charges like yours. Our knowledge of criminal law and dedication to helping our clients has led to our recognition by National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Super Lawyers, and other top legal organizations.
Our San Diego money laundering attorneys know the complexities of white-collar crimes, and we understand the prosecutor’s motives. We’ll put our years of experience to work to fight for the best possible outcome for your case.
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How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help With Money Laundering Charges in San Diego
No matter what the charges, being accused of a crime immediately causes panic. We’ve helped countless clients just like you successfully navigate the justice system. We fight hard early in the process to challenge evidence, work for a deal, or to get charges dismissed.
When you hire our criminal defense lawyers, you can count on us to:
- Obtain and analyze all the evidence against you
- Look for exculpatory evidence to prove your innocence
- Interview witnesses with information that can help build your case
- Collect all evidence that could lessen your charges or weaken the prosecution’s case
- Negotiate for a favorable plea deal, if it’s not possible to get charges dismissed
- Represent you in all pre-trial proceedings and handle all communications with the prosecution and investigators
- Fight for you in court, if necessary
We are often successful in getting cases resolved prior to trial. The prosecution hates to lose, so if they see that their case is weak, they’ll want to bargain. But, there are some cases where you might stand a better chance at trial. Every case is different. You can count on our breadth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the justice system.
Call our office in San Diego, California, now for a free and confidential case evaluation. We’re ready to help protect your freedom and your reputation.
What Is Money Laundering in California?
Money laundering is taking proceeds from illegal activity and making it look like it came from a legal source. Money laundering usually involves taking cash from criminal activity and depositing it into a legitimate company bank account or otherwise using it for a legal purpose.
Money laundering can involve many types of activities, such as:
The money laundering process generally involves:
- Placement: introduction of proceeds from a crime into the market
- Layering: separates the funds from the original source through a series of financial transactions
- Integration: returns the money to the defendant from a seemingly legitimate source
The process can be extremely complex and often involves lengthy investigation and surveillance before arrests are made.
Elements of Money Laundering in California
To convict you of regular money laundering, the prosecution must prove:
- You had specific intent to engage in or promote criminal activity; or
- You knew that the money was connected to criminal activity
Each of the following can be charged as a separate offense:
- Individual transactions over $5,000
- Series of transactions with a combined total of over $5,000 within a 7-day period
- Series of transactions with a combined total of over $25,000 within a 30-day period
It’s highly unlikely that there will be just one transaction of money laundering. It’s easy to wrack up dozens of charges since each transaction is a separate offense.
Money Laundering in a Drug Transaction
To convict you of money laundering in connection with drug activity, the prosecution must prove:
- You knowingly received or acquired proceeds or engaged in a transaction involving money or property that you knew was derived from a controlled substances offense;
- You intended to conceal or disguise the source, ownership, or control of the money or property; and
- The total amount of proceeds involved exceeded $25,000 in a 30-day period.
Other charges that are often related to money laundering in connection with drug transactions include drug trafficking charges, drug possession, and manufacturing a controlled substance.
What Are the Penalties for Money Laundering in California?
Money laundering may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. This is common in California criminal law – these offenses are known as “wobblers” since they teeter between felonies and misdemeanors. Sometimes a crime initially charged as a felony can get knocked down to a misdemeanor in a plea deal, substantially reducing your penalties.
Misdemeanor money laundering is punishable by:
- Up to one year in county jail; and/or
- Up to $1,000 fine
A second conviction can carry a fine of $500,000 or five times the value of the funds involved. And, you can face additional time behind bars or steeper fines for money laundering involving larger transactions.
A felony money laundering conviction is punishable by:
- Up to three years in jail; and/or
- Up to $250,000 fine or twice the value of funds involved in the transaction(s)
The jail sentence can increase by one year if the amount of money laundered exceeds $50,000. If the amount is more than $2.5 million, you could face an additional four years in jail.
Money laundering in connection with drug activity is also punishable as a misdemeanor (up to a year in county jail) or a felony (jail or state prison for up to four years), along with a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the proceeds.
Suppose you are convicted of two or more instances of money laundering in the same proceeding, and the total amount of money involved exceeds $100,000. In that case, you face an additional consecutive prison term of one to five years.
Judges may also consider your criminal history and the circumstances of the alleged crime when determining whether to increase or decrease your sentence.
Other Consequences of a Money Laundering Conviction in California
In addition to spending time in jail and paying extremely high fines, being convicted of money laundering can have other long-term consequences.
You could face:
- Damage to your reputation
- Losing your job and/or trouble getting hired
- Difficulty renting or purchasing a home
- Losing your right to vote
- Losing professional licenses
You could also face federal money laundering charges, depending on the circumstances. A federal conviction carries a penalty of the greater of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the money involved in the transaction, up to 20 years in prison, or both.
How Can I Defend Myself Against a Money Laundering Charge?
There are many potential defenses to money laundering. Remember, the prosecutor must prove that you intended to engage in criminal activity or that you knew the money was derived from or somehow related to criminal activity.
Possible defenses could include:
- You didn’t know where the money came from
- You didn’t know the money came from proceeds from a crime
- You lacked intent to further criminal activity
- The transaction did not meet the amount required by statute
Other defenses related to violation of your Constitutional rights may be available if:
- Police conducted an illegal search or seizure
- Police failed to advise you of your Miranda rights
- You were arrested due to illegal entrapment tactics
- You were threatened or coerced into making a confession
We work diligently in the investigation stage of your case to find every possible viable defense.
What Should I Do if I’m Charged with Money Laundering?
As with any arrest:
- Invoke your right to remain silent. You don’t have to answer any questions until your lawyer is present. It can be tempting to try to explain yourself, but the police and investigators have a way of twisting things around. Don’t risk it.
- Call your attorney as soon as you have the opportunity. Your lawyer will take over and protect your rights and deal with any administrative issues.
- Don’t talk to anyone about your charges. Don’t discuss your case with anyone but your attorney – not the allegations against you, the possible penalties, or your defenses.
Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers is always available to help you if you are arrested or if you’re being investigated for money laundering or related charges. We offer free initial consultations, so call today to learn more about our approach to defending you.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a San Diego Money Laundering Lawyer
Have you been charged with money laundering in Southern California? A San Diego money laundering attorney at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers can help. We have more than a decade of experience handling complex criminal cases. We’ve had success by getting evidence tossed, getting not guilty verdicts, and getting favorable plea deals for our clients. We stand up for you no matter what the charges or the circumstances.
Call today for a free consultation – your future is at stake, so call now.
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