Making False Entries in the Records of an Interstate Carrier
Federal prosecutors only have jurisdiction over a select number of crimes, which is why most criminal matters are tried in state court. There are, however, a few specific types of offenses over which the federal government has jurisdiction, including matters involving interstate commerce. This is because the Commerce Clause contained in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution specifically allows Congress to regulate commerce not only with foreign nations, but also among the states. Commercial transportation has long been understood to fall under this category, which means that federal prosecutors can file charges against individuals who are accused of committing crimes related to this type of interstate commerce. One of these crimes involves making false entries in the records of interstate carriers, which includes commercial trucks.
This offense is charged as a misdemeanor, but can still be punished by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine, so if you have been accused of falsifying the records of an interstate carrier, you should be represented by an experienced federal crime attorney who can help you formulate a strong defense.
Interstate Carrier Records
The term “common carrier” applies to any person or entity that is engaged for hire in interstate transportation and is most commonly used in connection with the commercial trucking industry.
These entities are required to maintain records detailing their business activities to ensure that their conduct is lawful. For instance, drivers of commercial vehicles must keep a record of their duty status, which indicate how long they have been driving, where they stopped and for how long, what, if any, items were being shipped, when they were delivered, and total on-duty hours. Failing to complete these records truthfully or deciding to forge a signature on such a document is punishable under federal law as a misdemeanor. This applies equally to documents that record counting method systems, procedures, and techniques, as long as they are developed, manufactured, or offered by the common carrier.
However, this prohibition applies to more than just duty status records, as commercial shipping employees are also barred from:
- Making any false entry in the accounts of any book or in any record or memoranda kept by the carrier;
- Willfully destroying, altering, mutilating, or otherwise falsifying such an account, record or memoranda; and
- Willfully neglecting or failing to make correct entries of all facts and transactions related to the carrier’s business.
Those who are accused of this offense can be charged with a misdemeanor and if convicted, could face fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 or imprisonment for between one and three years.
Talk to a Federal Crime Attorney Today
Federal charges, even those that seem relatively minor, should still be taken seriously, as they tend to result in much more severe penalties than their state counterparts, so if you have been accused of a federal offense, please contact experienced federal crime attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. at 305-670-9919 for advice on your next course of action. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge.