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Foreign Relations

Federal Criminal Attorney Explains Offenses Related to Foreign Relations

Foreign Relations Crimes Because of the importance of protecting U.S. sovereignty, there are strict rules in place that restrict certain types of contact with foreign governments. There are also rules associated with behaviors in foreign countries for individuals affiliated with the United States.

A violation of laws related to foreign relations could potentially result in federal criminal charges.

These charges could carry serious penalties so if you’re under investigation or if you have been accused of doing something wrong, you need to get legal help as soon as possible from a federal criminal defense attorney. Federal charges and state charges are very different, so you need to make sure your lawyer has experience and authority to represent you in federal criminal court.

LV Criminal Defense can help. Our federal criminal defense team has provided representation to defendants facing federal charges in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and surrounding states.

Because of our extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the federal code, we understand the ways that you can respond to charges and will be strong, dedicated advocates for you throughout your involvement with the criminal justice system. To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help you, give us a call today.

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Federal Laws On Foreign Relations

Many different federal criminal laws relate to foreign relations. These laws are found in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 45, which contains 20 different statutes, two of which have been repealed. The 18 remaining statutes in Chapter 44 that address different types of criminal conduct with respect to foreign relations include:

  • 18 U.S. Code section 951: Agents of foreign governments
  • 18 U.S. Code section 952: Diplomatic codes and correspondence
  • 18 U.S. Code section 953: Private correspondence with foreign governments
  • 18 U.S. Code section 954: False statements influencing foreign government
  • 18 U.S. Code section 955: Financial transactions with foreign governments
  • 18 U.S. Code section 956: Conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country
  • 18 U.S. Code section 957: Possession of property in aid of foreign government
  • 18 U.S. Code section 958: Commission to serve against friendly nation
  • 18 U.S. Code section 959: Enlistment in foreign service
  • 18 U.S. Code section 960: Expedition against friendly nation
  • 18 U.S. Code section 961: Strengthening armed vessel of foreign nation
  • 18 U.S. Code section 962: Arming vessel against friendly nation
  • 18 U.S. Code section 963: Detention of armed vessel
  • 18 U.S. Code section 964: Delivering armed vessel to belligerent nation
  • 18 U.S. Code section 965: Verified statements as prerequisite to vessel’s departure
  • 18 U.S. Code section 966: Departure of vessel forbidden for false statements
  • 18 U.S. Code section 967: Departure of vessel forbidden in aid of neutrality
  • 18 U.S. Code section 970: Protection of property occupied by foreign governments

Any defendant who is charged with violating any of the provisions of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 45 will need to know the specifics regarding the elements of the offense that a prosecutor needs to prove in order to secure a conviction.

For example, 18 U.S. Code section 995 establishes the crime of engaging in unlawful foreign transactions associated with foreign governments. According to the relevant statute, a defendant could be convicted of this offense for purchasing or selling bonds, securities, or other obligations of a foreign government or political subdivision of a foreign government or association acting on behalf of a foreign government if that foreign government is in default on its obligations to the United States. A defendant could also be convicted of this offense for making a loan to a foreign government or any subdivision or agency of a foreign government if that foreign government has defaulted on financial obligations to the U.S.

A defendant will not be convicted under 18 U.S. Code section 995 if the defendant is simply renewing or adjusting existing indebtedness. However, purchasing or selling new debt from a foreign government in default to the U.S. is unlawful for individuals, partnerships, corporations, and associations that don’t fall within specific exceptions authorized by congress. If a defendant is convicted under 18 U.S. Code section 995, the defendant could be fined and could be imprisoned for a maximum period of five years.

This is just one of the different statutes that imposes criminal penalties for certain types of foreign relations. Because each statute has different things a prosecutor is going to be required to prove to secure a conviction, and because different kinds of penalties are imposed for different crimes that have been made unlawful within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 45, defendants will need to work with experienced federal defense lawyers to make sure they understand the nature of the case that prosecutors must make against them.

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Getting help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of a crime involving foreign relations, you need to be represented by a federal criminal lawyer that understands this area of law and that can help you to avoid a guilty verdict by getting charges dropped or introducing reasonable doubt as to whether the prosecutor demonstrated your guilt. An experienced attorney can also advise you on what a prosecutor must prove and whether evidence is sufficient such that negotiating a favorable plea agreement might be a better course of action for you.

Finding an experienced attorney can be difficult, especially when it comes to a specialized area of law such as criminal laws related to foreign relations. The good news is, LV Criminal Defense has the credentials and knowledge to help you.

You can give us a call at any time if you are a resident of California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas and you need help fighting federal charges related to foreign relations or other offenses. We are always here to advocate for you, so call today.

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