Ignorance of the law isn’t a defense. If it were, we could ignore all laws and — after getting arrested and accused of a crime — achieve a verdict of not guilty simply by claiming that we didn’t realize we were doing anything wrong. That said, there are many felony crimes that people commit without ever realizing it. Here are two examples:
You flushed your daughter’s drugs down the drain
No parent wants to discover that his or her child has been using illegal drugs. The first reaction of most parents when finding these drugs would be to flush them down the drain. But what if your son or daughter is being investigated by the police? Flushing the drugs down the drain would be an obstruction of justice or “interference” because it’s a destruction of evidence.
You lie about taking a sick day off work
Ask around your office to the people you trust, and you’ll discover that many of your coworkers regularly take sick days when they’re not actually sick. Claiming that you’re staying home sick when you’re actually taking a vacation day is a “scheme or artifice to defraud.” In fact, it’s a federal crime to defraud your employer from his right to your honest services.
If you unknowingly committed a federal felony crime, and now you’re facing charges in court, it’s important to navigate your criminal proceedings carefully and strategically. Make sure that you review your criminal defense options in detail and select the most appropriate strategies that could help you decrease the chances and/or severity of punishment.