The governing statute in New Jersey for Money Laundering is N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25. If you have been charged with money laundering in Morris County, in towns like Chatham, Madison, Morristown, Mendham, Boonton, Mount Olive, Parsippany or East Hanover, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately about your options. Often times clients charged with money laundering also find themselves facing marijuana distribution, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, heroin distribution and leader of a drug trafficking network as well. Here at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall we fully understand what a conviction for money laundering can do to your life. Our team of eight Morris County, New Jersey money laundering defense lawyers have the experience and skill set required to fight to protect your rights. If you would like to set up a free consultation, please contact our Morristown office at 973-309-7050. Our Morristown criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway possible.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25: Washington Money Laundering Attorneys
Money Laundering, charged under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25, is a complex charge that encompasses several different types of conduct. Firstly, this section makes it a crime to transport or possess property property known or which a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity. It is also a crime to engage in a transaction (any deal, a sale, a loan, etc.) involving property known or which a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity. This part of the offense also requires that the State be able to prove that the Defendant intended to facilitate or promote criminal activity. The State is also required to show that the Defendant acted with knowledge that the transaction was designed (in whole or in part) to conceal or disguise the nature location source or ownership of the property derived from the criminal activity. It is important to recognize that there is no “predicate offense” required for someone to be guilty of Money Laundering. This means that a person can be found guilty of Money Laundering even if they had no involvement in the initial illegal act. The third type of conduct that constitutes money laundering is to organize, direct, finance, plan, manage, supervise, or control the transportation of property or transactions dealing with property that the Defendant knows or that a reasonable person would have known was derived from criminal activity. This means that it is illegal to take a managerial type role in money laundering, even if the actual money or property is never in the persons hands.
Roxbury NJ Money Laundering Defense Lawyers
What is the State required to prove?
The Mens Rea (the guilty mental state) that must be proven in order to obtain a conviction is a standard of knowledge or criminal negligence. That means that it must be proven that the Defendant must either have known that the money or property was derived from criminal activity OR that a reasonable person would have believed that the money was derived from criminal activity. The addition of the criminal negligence mens rea allows the State to pursue a prosecution even where the Defendant claims to have been unaware of the criminality of the money or property. Criminal Negligence requires that the Defendant disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the money or property was obtained through illegal means. The Prosecution is also not required to prove that the Defendant knew specifically which type of criminal activity the money or property came from, as long as they are able to establish that the Defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the money was derived from some criminal activity.
This Statute also makes it illegal to purposely (intentionally) evade a transaction reporting requirement. Transaction reporting requirements basically refers to the legal obligation to officially report certain large amounts of money or property gained. The type of conduct that is prohibited is conduct that causes or attempts to cause an entity (like a bank or a casino) that is required to file a report to FAIL to file that report regarding currency transactions. It is also criminal to attempt to get one of those entities to file a report that contains a material (important) omission or misstatement of fact. It is also illegal to attempt to “break down” a large currency transaction into several smaller currency transactions for the purpose of avoiding the transaction reporting requirement.
What are the Penalties for Money Laundering in NJ?
Money Laundering is a crime of the First Degree if the amount involved is $500,000 or more. If the amount is between $75,000 and $500,000, Money Laundering is a Crime of the Second Degree. If the amount is less than $75,000 it is a Crime of the Third Degree. The trier of fact, usually the Jury (but sometimes the trial judge) determines the amount that was involved.
Experienced Morristown NJ Money Laundering Attorneys
As you can tell from above, money laundering is considered a felony offense. A felony conviction for money laundering can not only cost you decades of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines but it can also severely impact your ability to obtain gainful employment. If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense like money laundering in towns like Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, Lincoln Park, Florham Park, Mendham, Jefferson, Madison, Harding or Butler, we can help. For a free consultation, please contact our Morristown office at 973-309-7050.