Federal Defense Lawyer Explains Crimes Involving Vessels

Shipments to and from the United States are essential to economic activity, as are shipments within the states of this country. Maritime facilities are hubs of activity where shipments enter and leave, and these facilities are protected by state and federal laws.

As a result, those who destroy or interfere with vessels or with maritime facilities can face serious federal criminal charges and could find themselves looking at a lengthy potential prison sentence and other serious penalties if convicted.

Maritime laws are complicated and not every defense lawyer is able to represent defendants accused of federal crimes involving misconduct at maritime facilities, so if you have been accused of wrongdoing, you need to find the right federal defense lawyers with the knowledge to represent you.

LV Criminal Defense is here and ready to help. Our legal team has represented clients facing charges for all different kinds of federal offenses, including crimes related to interference with vessels, destruction of vessels, interference with maritime facilities, and destruction of maritime facilities. We will put our extensive legal knowledge of federal criminal laws to work to help you maximize the chances of acquittal or a reduced penalty as part of a favorable plea deal.

If you live in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, you can reach out to our firm today to find out how we can help you to protect your future when you’ve been charged with interfering with vessels or maritime facilities. Give us a call right now to get help.

Federal Criminal Laws on Interference with Maritime Facilities and Vessels

Federal criminal laws associated with the destruction of vessels or maritime facilities, and laws associated with interference with maritime facilities and vessels, are found in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 111A. There are four statutes within this section, including the following:

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  • 18 U.S. Code section 2290 – Jurisdiction and scope. This statute specifies the circumstances under which the United States government has jurisdiction over someone who interfered with a vessel or who interfered with a maritime facility. The U.S. has jurisdiction to prosecute offenses under 18 U.S. Code Chapter 111A if the offense occurred in the U.S. or in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction. The U.S. government also has jurisdiction if the offense occurred outside of the U.S. but the offender is a U.S. national; any of the people on board the vessel were U.S. nationals, or the offense involved a vessel of the United States.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2291 – Destruction of vessel or maritime facility. This statute defines the crime of destruction of a maritime facility or vessel to include placing or causing destructive devices to be placed on a vessel or facility; setting fire to or otherwise damaging, destroying or displacing a vessel or facility; interfering with the operation of a vessel or facility by force; or performing acts of violence against a vessel or causing injury to a person on or near a vessel or at a maritime facility. Communicating information knowing that doing so will put a vessel in jeopardy or attempting to do any of these acts can also result in conviction under 18 U.S. Code section 2291. The maximum penalty for conviction is 20 years imprisonment.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2292 – Imparting or conveying false information. This statute imposes a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for knowingly imparting false information intentionally, maliciously, or with reckless disregard for human life.  A civil fine is otherwise imposed for knowingly imparting false information connected with offenses in Chapter 111A when there is no risk to human life.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2293 – Bar to prosecution. This statute specifies circumstances under which a defendant cannot be prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code section 111A. A defendant cannot be prosecuted if his conduct was in connection with a labor dispute, provided the conduct occurred within the United States and is a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense in the state where it was committed.

If you have been accused of violating any of these laws in connection with maritime facilities or maritime vessels, you can avoid conviction if a prosecutor is unable to prove each and every element of the crime. That’s why it is so important to understand what each statute within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 111A states and how it impacts your case.

Understanding and interpreting federal laws on the destruction of a vessel or maritime facilities, or on interference with vessels or maritime facilities, can be complicated. LV Criminal Defense knows the laws set forth in 18 U.S. Code sections 2290, 2291, 2292, and 2293 and we can help you to fight charges.

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Getting Help from a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

LV Criminal Defense has successfully helped many defendants to avoid conviction or significantly reduce the severity of federal charges and penalties after they have been accused of violating 18 U.S. Code Chapter 111A. If you have been accused of violating this law and you need help fighting to avoid conviction, we can put our considerable legal knowledge to work for you.

Our firm will help you during an investigation or after you have been charged. We can work closely with you to identify evidence, evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case, and determine how to plead. We can also represent you during plea negotiations or when fighting for acquittal in court. Our goal is always to use our legal skills, strong negotiating skills, and in-depth knowledge of federal criminal law to help you get the best outcomes possible when you are charged with a federal offense.

To find out more about how our federal defense attorneys can help clients in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas who have been charged with destruction of or interference with vessels or maritime facilities, give us a call today.

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