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What to Do If You're Charged with Violating Title 18 U.S. Code § 1952 - The Travel Act

What to Do If You're Charged with Violating Title 18 U.S. Code § 1952 - The Travel Act

Facing federal criminal charges is a daunting experience, but understanding the steps you must take can help guide you through an otherwise overwhelming process. Our latest blog post is tailored to defendants charged with violating Title 18 U.S. Code § 1952, commonly known as the Travel Act. Whether this is your first brush with the law or you're familiar with the criminal justice system, Travel Act charges are serious and can lead to profound consequences.

Understand the Implications of the Travel Act and What to Do If You’re Charged

The Travel Act is a federal statute that criminalizes interstate or foreign travel or use of the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to distribute the proceeds of an unlawful activity.

The Act also targets any steps taken to promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate unlawful activities. This broad law can be especially applicable to activities related to illegal gambling, drugs, and prostitution. Violation of this law can result in substantial fines and a significant term of imprisonment. Here's what to do if you are charged with Travel Act violations:

  • Act Quickly and Responsibly – Any federal criminal charge, especially one as serious as those under the Travel Act, requires immediate action. The first steps to take include refraining from discussing your case with others, especially on the phone or through electronic communications, and promptly seeking legal representation. The decisions you make at the start can greatly impact your case's outcome.
  • Secure Legal Representation – Securing legal representation is arguably the single most important step to take when charged with a federal crime. A qualified criminal defense attorney will be your advocate, guide you through the legal process, and protect your rights. Look for lawyers with experience in federal criminal defense and specifically with cases involving the Travel Act.
  • Know Your Charges and Potential Consequences – Understanding the specifics of what you are charged with, and the potential ramifications is critical. Your attorney will help you understand the charges and their legal significance, as well as the potential penalties and how they may apply to your case.
  • Prepare for Your Defense – Once you're aware of the charges and what they entail, your attorney will work with you to build a defense. This might involve a variety of strategies, from demonstrating your lack of intent to highlighting procedural errors. The sooner you start this process, the better your defense will be.
  • Participate in the Legal Process – It's crucial to participate in your own defense, which includes all interactions with your attorney and court appearances. Be honest with your attorney about the facts of your case, as this will enable them to provide the best possible representation.
  • Exercise Your Rights – You have constitutional rights that provide significant protections, including the right to remain silent, the right to refuse searches, and the right to an attorney. Exercise these rights, and always keep in mind that the government bears the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Facing charges under the Travel Act or any federal statute is a serious matter, but it's not insurmountable. By taking these steps and staying proactive in your defense, you can ensure that you have the best possible chance for a just resolution to your case.

Penalties for a Travel Act Conviction

Any violation of Title 18 U.S. Code 1952 can lead to severe legal consequences, with the exact penalties determined by the nature and severity of the crime. Most commonly, breaches of this law result in felony charges, carrying a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.

When the crime involves violence or the threat of violence, a conviction could lead to a 20-year prison sentence. If the act results in a death, a conviction could lead to a life sentence. Beyond the threat of imprisonment, offenders convicted under the Travel Act could also deal with substantial fines, loss of assets, and other legally sanctioned penalties.

Defenses for Travel Act Charges

If you are facing federal charges under the Travel Act, certain defense strategies may be useful to you. These include:

  • Lack of Intent – For conviction under the Travel Act, it's required for the prosecution to demonstrate that you were knowingly and deliberately involved in promoting, managing, or aiding an illegal activity. If you can establish that you had no knowledge of the unlawful nature of your deeds – such as unknowingly transporting funds derived from illegal operations – you might be able to get the charges dismissed.
  • Lack of Jurisdiction – In order to prosecute you under the Travel Act, it's essential for prosecutors to demonstrate that the crime extended beyond state or national borders. If you can establish that your actions were localized within a single state, you might still be liable for prosecution under state laws, but the federal charges would need to be waived off.

If you are facing criminal charges related to alleged Travel Act violations, contact Musa-Obregon Law PC. We may be able to negotiate a favorable outcome with the federal prosecutor on your behalf.

Call our Travel Act criminal defense attorneys at (888) 502-8461 or reach out to us online today to schedule your free consultation and begin collaborating with our experienced legal team on your defense.


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