Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Crimes Related to Politics

Protecting the integrity of the U.S. election system is of the utmost importance, as is ensuring that government officials are not able to use inappropriate means to garner support, such as promising appointments or a job in the government in exchange for political activity.

Because it is so imperative to a functioning democracy that elections be free and fair, there are many federal laws aiming to ensure that elections within the U.S. proceed smoothly.

Those who violate the law and engage in unlawful behavior in connection with elections or political activity can be charged with a serious criminal offense and can be prosecuted in federal court.

If you are facing federal criminal charges in connection with your involvement with elections, you need to take action right away to get a federal defense attorney on your side. A defense lawyer will help you to understand the nature of the charges and what could happen if you are convicted. Your attorney will also help you to take proactive steps to begin raising defenses, identifying ways to introduce reasonable doubt, or negotiating a plea agreement to reduce charges.

LV Criminal Defense provides representation to those living in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, or California who have been charged with a federal crime related to elections and political activities. If you are accused of wrongful actions in connection with the U.S. political system, give us a call today to find out how we can help you.

Federal Laws on Criminal Conduct Related to Elections and Political Activities

18 U.S. Code Chapter 29 is the part of the federal penal code that defines offenses related to elections and political activity. There are 22 different statutes found within Chapter 29, but two of those statutes – 18 U.S. Code section 591 and 18 U.S. Code section 612 – have been repealed. The remaining statutes include the following:

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  • 18 U.S. Code section 592 – Troops at polls
  • 18 U.S. Code section 593 – Interference by armed forces
  • 18 U.S. Code section 594 – Intimidation of voters
  • 18 U.S. Code section 595 – Interference by administrative employees of Federal, State, or Territorial Governments
  • 18 U.S. Code section 596 – Polling armed forces
  • 18 U.S. Code section 597 – Expenditures to influence voting
  • 18 U.S. Code section 598 – Coercion by means of relief appropriations
  • 18 U.S. Code section 599 – Promise of appointment by candidate
  • 18 U.S. Code section 600 – Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity
  • 18 U.S. Code section 601 – Deprivation of employment or other benefit for political contribution
  • 18 U.S. Code section 602 – Solicitation of political contributions
  • 18 U.S. Code section 603 – Making political contributions
  • 18 U.S. Code section 604 – Solicitation from persons on relief
  • 18 U.S. Code section 605 – Disclosure of names of persons on relief
  • 18 U.S. Code section 606 – Intimidation to secure political contributions
  • 18 U.S. Code section 607 – Place of solicitation
  • 18 U.S. Code section 608 – Absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters
  • 18 U.S. Code section 609 – Use of military authority to influence vote of member of Armed Forces
  • 18 U.S. Code section 610 – Coercion of political activity
  • 18 U.S. Code section 611 – Voting by aliens

Each of these different statutes contains specific elements of a particular crime which a prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court if you are going to be convicted of that particular offense. For example, 18 U.S. code section 611 makes it a crime for any alien to vote in any election that is held solely or in part to elect a candidate to hold the office of President, Vice President, House or Senate member, delegate from the District of Columbia, or President Elector.

The statute carves out some limited exceptions. For example, it does not apply to elections that an alien may vote in if the election is held partly for some other purpose not related to electing one of the specified federal officials. It also doesn’t apply if a state or local ordinance allows an alien to vote in he election or if an alien votes in an election for other purposes not connected to electing one of the designated federal officials.

The prohibition against aliens voting also does not apply if each of the parents of the alien is or were citizens – including adoptive parents – and the alien permanently resided in the U.S. prior to age 16 if the alien reasonably believed at the time of voting that he or she was actually a U.S. citizen.

If an alien does violate the prohibitions set forth within 18 U.S. code section 611, then he could be fined and imprisoned for up to a year if convicted of this criminal offense.

This is just one example of the specific types of requirements each statute sets forth that a prosecutor must be sure to fulfill in order for a defendant to be convicted of violating laws related to elections or political activities.

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Getting Help from a Federal Criminal Attorney

LV Criminal Defense has provided representation to many defendants accused of violating laws related to elections and political activities. We can provide you with help fighting charges if you live in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, or surrounding areas.

We know the federal laws very well that protect the integrity of the political system and we can help you to understand the strength of the prosecutor’s case and the different ways to respond to charges to reduce the likelihood of conviction or to limit penalties faced.

To find out more about how our firm can help you whenever you are facing criminal charges in federal court, give us a call today to talk with compassionate and knowledgeable member of our legal defense team. Our federal criminal defense law firm will fight for you throughout your case so call now to get help protecting your future.