Federal Crimes and Conspiracy Cases

Federal Conspiracy and Other High-Stakes Charges

One of the cornerstones of our practice is defending clients who are facing serious federal charges. From federal conspiracy charges to a wide variety of white-collar charges, Attorney Banker is well-equipped to defend against serious federal charges. Being so close to the Mexican border, our Houston attorneys have become well-acquainted with federal conspiracy charges.

What is federal conspiracy, anyway? Essentially, it’s an agreement between two or more people to do something illegal. The law, however, goes into a little more detail, with 18 U.S.C. § 371 giving conspiracy a double-pronged definition: an agreement to both:

  • “commit any offense against the United States” and 
  • “defraud the United States.” 

In order for someone to get charged with a federal conspiracy, the federal government must prove the agreement to commit an illegal act, that the defendant knew of and voluntarily consented to participate in the agreement, and that one of the acts committed by a co-conspirator to further the conspiracy was overt enough to draw unwanted attention.

Our Houston-based conspiracy lawyers stand prepared to mount a serious defense against the following federal charges (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • Transporting Illegal Immigrants – It’s illegal for a U.S. citizen to help a non-U.S. citizen enter the country without the proper documentation. It is also illegal to transport, harbor, and conceal non-U.S. citizens within the country. Defendants charged with this crime may also face harsher penalties if the transportation put any of the illegal immigrants in physical danger, such as if they were transported in a hot, poorly ventilated truck.

So, be careful next time you think about picking up that hitchhiker near the border; you could unknowingly be getting yourself involved in a federal conspiracy crime and needing one of our attorneys in Houston

  • Drug Smuggling – Even though many illegal immigrants come to our country in search of a better life, some come to smuggle drugs and other contraband. Since drug smuggling is a federal crime, penalties are often pretty steep; convicted individuals can face up to 43 years in federal prison. What’s more is that those involved in the crime are often banned from re-entering the United States, putting an emotional strain on their loved ones who are still inside the country.

However, not every drug smuggling case is so cut and dry. The penalties you’ll face will ultimately depend on your past criminal history, the type of drug you were trying to smuggle, and the quantity. Our attorneys in Houston will help evaluate your case so you have an understanding of what you are up against.

  • Money Laundering – Like all other federal crimes, money laundering is pretty serious. It’s when someone knowingly conceals the details of a criminal transaction. It can also include investing, receiving, financing, or spending the resultant profits. Interestingly, Texas money laundering laws don’t require the defendant to know about the details of the criminal activity that produced the moneyonly that the money was earned from a criminal activity. If a police officer has notified the defendant that the money was made from an illegal activity, the court will presume the defendant has the required knowledge to be convicted.

All money laundering charges are felonies in Texas, and the severity of the penalties will vary according to the amount of money being laundered. For example, convicted defendants can face first-degree felony charges if the amount is over $200,000.

  • Illegal Reentry After Deportation – Those deported may try to get back into the country just to, simply, reunite with their loved ones. Unfortunately, those who try to illegally reenter the country after being deported will face federal prosecution.

How do you know if your reentry is illegal? First, you have to have either been denied admission to the country, removed from the country, excluded from the country, or deported from the country while another deportation, removal, or exclusion order is still in effect.

There are different penalties for this crime according to the details of the crime itself. For example, reentering the U.S after previously being here illegally or after being granted voluntary departure or ordered to deport the country could get you a fine and two years in federal prison. If you have a prior criminal history with violent offenses, though, this prison time could jump up to 20 years.

  • Healthcare and Bank Fraud – Both Texas and federal law employ broad definitions of bank fraud, but the key is identifying instances where an individual materially misrepresented something to fraudulently gain money or assets from a financial institution. Bank fraud is typically charged as a felony. If you find yourself in the midst of a similar felony charge, our Houston bank fraud lawyers can help you navigate your case.

Charles Banker, our experienced healthcare fraud lawyer serving Houston, is also well-equipped to handle complex charges of healthcare fraud. Healthcare fraud is often charged at the federal level and can manifest in many different ways. Essentially, though, it involves a patient, doctor, practice, provider, or other medical professional getting compensation (through money, services, or equipment) through fraudulent methods. For example, a physician may bill Medicare or Medicaid for services that were either not performed or performed but not medically necessary.

Facing white-collar charges means you cannot go to just any criminal defense attorney. Local Houston attorney Charles Banker has decades of experience defending clients in state and federal courtrooms. What separates us from the rest is the care and personalized attention we give each case. Need a caring and aggressive Houston attorney on your side? Get in touch with us for a free consultation today.