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Former Assistant District Attorney
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

What elements are involved in wire fraud?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Federal Crimes

If you have recently been charged with a serious crime, you undoubtedly have numerous worries going through your mind. Even if you believe that you will make it through the case and reach a favorable outcome, you know that you will likely have a long road ahead as your case moves through the Mississippi court system.

Fortunately, you have legal rights that allow you to create and present a criminal defense against any allegations you may face, including mail fraud. In fact, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. This means that, if the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime of which you stand accused, a guilty outcome is unlikely.

What does the prosecution have to prove?

In criminal cases, the prosecution must typically prove elements of the alleged crime. These elements differ, depending on the certain situation, but most statutes regarding criminal activity include specific details explaining what a particular crime involves. When it comes to mail fraud, the prosecution must prove that the following elements occurred in your case:

  • You voluntarily created a plan or participated in a plan to defraud another party.
  • You had the intention of defrauding another party.
  • Evidence suggests that it was reasonably foreseeable that one would use the wire communications obtained in a fraudulent manner.
  • Evidence shows that the wire communications were, indeed, used.

Without proof of the above elements, it would be immensely difficult, if not impossible, for the prosecution to meet the burden of proof required to convict you of the crime.

What communications must be involved?

When it comes to wire fraud, some type of electronic communication has occurred during the attempt to defraud another party. These communication efforts could come through telephone, email, fax, social media or text messaging. Typically, these communications are across state lines or even across country borders. As a result, if you face accusations of wire fraud, you stand the risk of serious penalties in the event of a conviction, including a maximum of 20 years in prison and maximum fines of $250,000 for an individual.

This situation will certainly bring about considerable stress, but knowing what the prosecution is likely looking for in your case and understanding the elements they must prove could help you feel more prepared as your case moves forward.