SNAP Violation Defense Lawyers
Consulting An Attorney For A SNAP Violation Defense
Back in 2013, the United States Congress had received a report that detailed the dramatic increase in violations to the SNAP program. Congress decided to act on this report, thereby mandating a crackdown on certain stores that were found to be in violation. The next year, Congress had created a mandate in which stores needed to use an alert system to disqualify and suspend thousands of SNAP participating stores who were found to be in violation. Sadly, even certain stores that were only guilty of minor violations were treated like they were major violators. Businesses that accept payments from EBT cards, electronic benefits transfer, the SNAP program or WIC have been found to be falling into non-compliance risk. Because of this, many stores were led to having losses in their gross sales and were not able to recover.
Whether your business is facing a major violation or minor one, it’s in your best interest to get help from an experienced SNAP violation lawyer. Small grocers and convenience stores rely heavily on the money made from these types of transactions to stay in business. Therefore, it is crucial for many of these businesses to seek out legal representation for help with their violation charges. In order to appreciate the need for an experienced violation lawyer, businesses need to know full well what the penalties are for being charged with a SNAP violation.
SNAP Violation Penalties
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is able to give the following SNAP penalties:
•Temporary disqualification from the SNAP program
•Permanent disqualification from the SNAP program
Each of these penalties were designed to affect a business’ ability to conduct business. Both temporary and permanent disqualifications from the SNAP program can have a long-term impact on a business’ revenue. For stores to receive a civil fine, it could mean having to part with thousands of dollars in your revenue budget. For some store, this could mean having to close, especially small convenience stores and grocery stores. It is rare for SNAP violators to face criminal charges. However, it will ultimately depend on the scope of your trafficking SNAP violation allegations. There is so much at stake that retaining an attorney for help in defending yourself against the violations can have a huge impact on how your case turns out.
Civil Fine Penalty
For some SNAP violators, the Government’s Federal Regulations code can authorize the USDA to impose a civil fine against food stamp trafficking. The amount of the fine will depend solely on the volume of the transactions, the severity of the allegations against your business and how many offenses you have violated within your business.
Even with temporary disqualifications, it can be very damaging to a business. The severity of the damage will depend on your business’ cash status and how long the disqualification will last. The USDA can issue temporary disqualifications that range from around six months to five years.
For a lot of businesses, a permanent disqualification could mean the end of business. Store owners and retailers get a lot of their revenue from SNAP customers. In some cases, EBT customers can account for more than 70 percent of total customers.
There are many circumstances in offenses which may lead to a business getting permanently disqualified:
•Yourself or your workers knowingly engage in SNAP trafficking. This is defined as buying, selling, stealing or exchanging the SNAP benefits. The exchange may be done in the form of favors, cash or other ineligible items.
•You or your workers knowingly submit false information to the EBT program during an application process or other instances when you are supposed to provide valid information.
How To Prevent SNAP Violations
It is evident to see that many smaller grocery stores and shops can lose a lot after receiving a SNAP violation. Because of this, it is crucial that stores remain compliant and continually take active measures in order to prevent these violations from occurring. There are some practices that can be followed in order to help remain on the right side of the law where the SNAP program is concerned. You can remain in compliance by following the program’s written guidelines, participating in training courses and keeping your store organized. If you find your business is facing a SNAP violation charge, you should consult a lawyer.
Having a full understanding of SNAP violation fraud can help a business avoid violations which could result in a loss of profit. To ensure your business has a future, consult with a SNAP violation lawyer today.
May 17, 2018
Spodek Law is a great firm. They are super pragmatic