Judge pointing at lawyersThis is the sixth post in a series reviewing state jail felony charges in Austin, Texas. My last article discussed handling identity theft charges and the potential consequences. I also stressed the need to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately if you or a loved one have been charged with a crime. This article continues the current series by addressing money laundering charges and how to navigate the legal system. I consider it important to address this topic as many individuals do not know or appreciate the serious nature of such charges. It is helpful to understand the law regarding such charges and the related penalties if you have been arrested.  If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Money laundering is a Texas state jail felony if the value of the illegally laundered funds is at least $2,500

Texas law defines “money laundering” as knowingly acquiring or maintaining an interest in funds that were obtained through an illegal transaction. A person can also face money laundering charges by receiving, transporting, transmitting, or transferring money that was obtained through criminal means. The punishment for money laundering charges includes a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years, with a potential fine of up to $10,000. To be charged with this level of offense in Texas, the value of the money must be at least $2,500 and no more than $30,000. As explained below, this type of offense can be elevated to a higher-level felony, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

If you are convicted of a state jail felony then you will face additional longer-lasting consequences after completing a jail sentence or paying a fine. These include the burden of having a permanent criminal record, social stigma, and inability to pass background checks. Failing a background check can make it difficult to obtain employment, to gain approval for a housing application, or to pass future security clearances. When selecting counsel, you should look for someone with experience in protecting the rights of those accused in state jail money laundering charges. Depending on the facts of the case, your lawyer may be able to defend the case to dismissal or they may be able to negotiate a more favorable outcome.

Money laundering can become a higher-level offense, depending on the value of the laundered funds

Money laundering charges can be increased to higher-level offenses depending on whether there are aggravating factors. A person can face higher-level felony charges in Texas if the value of the funds exceeds $30,00. One can also face federal charges if the transaction crosses outside of Texas or involves an amount exceeding $10,000. When determining the type of charges, prosecutors will either count the total proceeds of a single transaction or a series of transactions. As an example, suppose a person launders $500,000 from seven different individuals. They may face heightened state charges, along with federal charges due to the value of the money lost. This is far different from someone who engages in a one-time offense which involves a lower amount. If you are arrested then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

My law firm practices exclusively in the area of criminal defense. We are dedicated to representing the accused and providing quality service. I understand that this is a serious time in your life and I look forward to helping you through this process. If you or someone you love has been arrested, contact my office today online or by telephone to speak with an Austin criminal defense lawyer. I am Board Certified in Criminal Defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have been licensed to practice law since 1995. My office also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.