Using the mail system in an effort to defraud individuals or businesses in New York or elsewhere is considered to be a serious offense. If you are convicted of mail fraud, you could spend multiple decades in prison in addition to a fine of up to $1 million. However, there are many strategies that you might be able to use to get such a charge reduced or dismissed.
There was no intent to defraud
Generally speaking, you can’t be convicted of a crime if there was no intent to break the law. For example, as part of your criminal defense, you may assert that you were duped into mailing a document that you believed was legitimate when it was sent. It may also be possible to assert that you sent letters to individuals regarding legitimate business opportunities. In most cases, simply asking someone to invest in a company is not a crime.
You didn’t use the mail to defraud
While mailing a letter may be the easiest way to get it to its intended recipient, it isn’t the only option available. For instance, you could put a document directly into the hands of the person who was supposed to read it. Alternatively, you could hand it to an intermediary who doesn’t work for a parcel delivery service who would then deliver the document to its final destination.
Technicalities might be your friend
It may be possible to get a charge dismissed by claiming that authorities overstepped their bounds during an investigation. The Fourth Amendment limits the ways in which authorities can gather evidence in a criminal investigation. You may also raise other issues such as the fact that you were forced to speak without a lawyer present or that you weren’t informed of your rights at all.
Disputing evidence presented at trial may make it easier to obtain a favorable outcome in your case. It may also be possible to have evidence suppressed, which may make it difficult for a prosecutor to do anything other than drop a mail fraud charge.