If you’ve been charged with a white collar crime, the first thing you need to do is hire an attorney well versed in defending this highly problematic area of law.
Frequently, people charged with a white collar crime don’t feel as if they’ve done anything wrong. Their first reaction is often to explain their involvement and cooperate with the government or accusing corporation to somehow justify their association with said crime.
Don’t make a life-altering mistake! Give Shield Criminal Defense Law a call today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case with a Los Angeles white collar crime attorney. We are available 24 hours a day at (213) 514-8732.
What exactly is “White Collar Crime?”
The term “White Collar Crime” can describe a large variety of crimes, but generally they all involve crime committed through deceit and driven by financial gain, and are typically void of any violence or threat. The most common white collar crimes are:
- Securities fraud
- Health care/pharmaceutical fraud
- Money laundering
- Bank fraud
- Internal investigations/compliance issues
- Public corruption
- Campaign finance abuse
- Defense contracting
- Food and Drug
- Bankruptcy fraud
Many different types of scams and frauds fall under the umbrella of white collar crime, including securities fraud such as insider trading. More common crimes, like insurance fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion, are also classified as white collar crimes
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If it’s a non-violent crime, could I go to jail?
Long ago, before the technology boom that allowed access to so many different categories of fraud and embezzlement, it may have been that a person convicted of a white-collar crime could receive a lighter sentence, such as probation. Those days are long gone. particularly if your case ends up in federal court. Matters formerly handled through civil processes now result in criminal investigations. Prison sentences are routine, and very substantial sentences are often expected.
Even though typically no violence or threat of violence is factored into these crimes, prosecutors can, and often will, seek significant prison time for white-collar crimes. Because these crimes are often against the government, they are taken seriously with little consideration given to absence of a prior criminal record, influence in the community, or other factors that could help your case in another area of criminal law.
I was just doing my job, how did I end up charged with a crime?
Many Executives have received the shock of their lives to discover that their business decisions have led the government to seek felony convictions, extended prison terms and vast fines.
Often, the most important issue in a white collar case is what the accused person was thinking when they committed the fraudulent act. White collar cases often boil down to what the person’s intent was at the time of the crime. The government proving that you purposely acted to defraud or steal can play a key role in sentencing. However, even in business people make mistakes. Sometimes the best defense available in a white collar case is being able to prove that the criminal act was not purposeful, but caused by human error.
Whether you feel like you were doing your job or following someone else’s orders, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to retain a Los Angeles white collar crime lawyer for advice about your investigation or arrest.
How is a white-collar crime defended?
One of the most unique aspects of a white collar crime investigation and trial is the amount of time it takes to obtain, organize, and present evidence. During this time the defendant is often alerted that they are under investigation long before they are arrested or served. Having an attorney from the beginning of the investigation process ensures that you don’t inadvertently waive any constitutional rights, or relent to tricky investigation practices without having to.
In addition, white collar crime prosecution typically comes with mounds of records and data that a judge or jury can find complex and overwhelming. A good Los Angeles white collar crime attorney can prepare a clear defense to be presented to the court, allowing the judge or jury a break from massive volumes of confusing records. In addition, if a knowledgeable attorney can find one flaw in massive amounts of data, it could potentially be enough for an acquittal.
Being under investigation for, or being charged with a white-collar crime is a terrifying thing. Your future, your family, and your reputation are all at risk. Many people charged with a white-collar crime find themselves angry, depressed or hopeless. Try to remember, the burden of proof is on the government. Get in touch with an accomplished Los Angeles white collar crime lawyer who can carry the weight of this situation on your behalf, and guide you through this complex and frustrating process.
Call Shield Criminal Defense Law today for a free evaluation of your white collar crime case. We are here for you 24 hours a day at (213) 514-8732.