Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
Okay, hopefully I’ve convinced you that hiring a criminal defense lawyer is a must. But not just any lawyer will do. You need someone truly skilled at defending bank fraud charges.
Here are some tips for finding the right attorney:
- Look for someone with extensive experience specifically with bank fraud cases – this is not the time to hire a rookie!
- Find someone familiar with the prosecutors and courts in your jurisdiction. Local experience is invaluable.
- Ask about their track record getting bank fraud cases dismissed or charges reduced. Past results are telling.
- Make sure they have time to focus on your case – you don’t want an overworked lawyer.
- Be sure they communicate clearly and make you feel comfortable. Trust your gut.
- Don’t just choose the cheapest option – skill costs money for a reason.
- Ask trusted friends or family for referrals to good lawyers.
Taking the time to find the right criminal defense attorney pays off hugely. Be thorough in your search – and good luck!
The Charges Against You
The first thing your lawyer will do is carefully examine the specific bank fraud charges against you. This includes looking at important details like:
- What evidence is the prosecution basing the charges on?
- What exactly does the prosecution allege you did?
- What specific laws have you allegedly violated?
- Are the charges being brought in state or federal court?
- Do the charges involve related crimes like identity theft or money laundering?
Thoroughly understanding the charges allows your lawyer to begin forming the best defense strategy. It also reveals potential weaknesses that can be exploited.
Possible Defenses Against the Charges
Skilled criminal defense lawyers are masters at finding holes in the prosecution’s case. Here are some potential defenses they may use:
You Didn’t Actually Commit Fraud
The most straightforward defense is that you didn’t actually do what you’re accused of. Perhaps the prosecution has the wrong person or misunderstood your actions. Your lawyer can point out lack of direct evidence tying you to the crime.
You Lacked Criminal Intent
Many fraud charges require prosecutors to prove you knowingly and intentionally meant to deceive. Your lawyer may argue you had no intent to defraud. Maybe it was an honest mistake or you were unaware of wrongdoing.
The Bank Wasn’t Actually at Risk
Certain bank fraud laws require the prosecution to prove the bank was exposed to real risk of financial loss. Your lawyer can try to show the bank was never in danger of losing money.
You Were Entrapped
If law enforcement pressured you into committing fraud you otherwise wouldn’t have, your lawyer can argue entrapment. This is a solid defense against the charges.
There Were Procedural Errors
Your lawyer will scrutinize the prosecution’s actions for procedural mistakes and improper conduct. Violations of your rights can invalidate the charges against you.
Preparing a Strong Defense for Trial
If a plea deal can’t be reached, your lawyer will launch a vigorous defense for trial. This involves steps like:
- Filing motions asking the judge to throw out evidence, dismiss charges or suppress your statements
- Attempting to disqualify biased jurors during jury selection
- Developing a trial strategy that targets the weak points of the prosecution’s case
- Intensively preparing you to deliver persuasive testimony on the stand
- Working with investigators to uncover evidence and witnesses supporting your innocence
- Retaining expert witnesses who can discredit the prosecution’s arguments
- Planning an aggressive cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses
- Drafting compelling opening and closing arguments
Your lawyer will tap their substantial trial experience to give you the strongest defense possible.
What a Conviction Means for Your Future
If all efforts to beat the charges fail and you are convicted of bank fraud, you face very serious consequences:
- Years or even decades in federal prison – sentences are harsh for bank fraud
- Massive fines in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars
- Restitution payments to the bank for the losses you caused
- Lifelong restrictions on employment, housing and other opportunities due to a felony record
- Forfeiture of assets, property and bank accounts used in the fraud
- Forever being branded as a convicted felon
- Potential deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Lifelong loss of credibility and reputation
- Inability to obtain loans, credit cards and other financial services
Simply put, a bank fraud conviction can destroy your life. Avoiding this fate is why hiring a top lawyer is so critical.
Being charged with bank fraud is scary. The potential penalties are severe and lives can be ruined. That’s why having an exceptional criminal defense attorney on your side is critical.
Don’t take chances by defending yourself or using an inexperienced lawyer. Find someone with a proven track record getting bank fraud cases dismissed pre-trial or charges reduced through aggressive negotiation.
A great lawyer’s skills can make the difference between prison time and your charges being dropped. Don’t wait to get legal help – the sooner you have expert representation, the better!