In Illinois and all other states, if someone accuses you of fraud or some other criminal offense, you are guaranteed an opportunity to present as strong a defense as possible to try to avoid conviction or at least prevent long-term negative consequences if conviction is unavoidable. In fact, any number of issues may resolve the situation before it ever goes to trial, such as the court determining that not enough evidence exists to try you. If you go before a judge or jury, it still, by no means, constitutes guilt.
If the court convicts you, your attorney can try to convince the judge to issue a lighter sentence. A judge may even deem it appropriate to sentence you to probation with no time in jail. One certainty in all criminal trials, including those involving fraud, is that you can never predict what the outcome will be. How well you understand your rights and the type of support you secure are likely to be key factors toward obtaining the best outcome possible in your situation.
Things you can do to try avoid an outcome similar to this one
A federal judge recently handed down hefty sentences to three people who were convicted of mail fraud and money laundering. They reportedly defrauded Amazon out of more than $1 million. Their three prison sentences range from 24 months to 71 months. The following list includes practical steps to increase your chances of a better outcome if you were ever to face similar charges:
- Request legal representation as soon as you become aware that you are subject to a federal investigation.
- Compile evidence to support your denial of guilt if that’s how you plead.
- Explore all available defense options and seek experienced guidance to help determine a best course of action.
- Adhere to all official instructions regarding the adjudication process to avoid further legal trouble.
The people convicted in the Amazon case apparently stole many products from the online company in order to resell them. If police arrest you on suspicion of similar fraudulent activity and you believe they have violated your rights or that charges against you are erroneous, you can tap into local resources to challenge the evidence against you or request a full dismissal of your case.
If you go to trial, remember that you do not have to act alone, and if the court convicts you, it may be possible to appeal the ruling.