In Missouri, white collar criminal convictions are often met with hefty penalties. Depending on your criminal charge, you could face the potential of years in jail, hefty fees and more.

One example is mail fraud. This white collar crime involves the use of mail in a fraud plan and you can get in serious trouble if convicted.

Mail fraud as a federal crime

The Congressional Research Service examines mail fraud, including its potential consequences if convicted. In terms of sentencing, mail fraud is a federal crime due to the use of the U.S. postal system. It applies even if you use a private mail courier instead of the United States Postal Service (USPS). This is because even private mail couriers rely on the U.S. postal system to deliver packages.

Imprisonment and fines

If convicted, you face up to 20 years in prison. You may also have a fine of up to $250,000. For organizations, this maximum fine raises to $500,000. You could also face up to 30 years of imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines for more severe crimes. This includes targeting a financial institution or taking advantage of a natural disaster.

On top of this, you could face a period of supervised release. You may have a probation period as well. You will also deal with the stigma of having a felony charge, which often makes it harder to find work or housing.

These are just a few of the reasons as to why it is crucial to take mail fraud charges seriously. A conviction has the ability to turn your life upside down.