Being charged with a white collar crime can have a dire impact on a person’s future. If convicted, they may be subjected to huge fines, face a long prison sentence, and suffer severe embarrassment. White collar crime refers to a wide range of nonviolent crimes committed by persons of stature in corporate settings for monetary gain. White collar criminals often utilize sophisticated systems, programs, or processes, which makes the detection, prosecution, and defense of such crimes more complex.
A criminal law attorney who has experience defending the rights of those accused of white collar crime can help reduce charges, minimize penalties, or avoid them altogether. If you have been accused of a white collar crime, please contact us today to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your case FREE of charge and pursue your best interests.
Types of White Collar Crimes
White collar crime encompasses a wide range of offenses including, but not limited to:
- Insider trading
- Mail fraud
- Tax evasion
- Money laundering
- Public office corruption
- Environmental law violation
- Financial fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Antitrust violation
Penalties for White Collar Crime
White collar crime is a term that is applied to nonviolent crimes committed in business situations by individuals, groups, or corporations for the purpose of financial gain. White collar crimes include, but are not limited to, money laundering, embezzlement, fraud (i.e. health care, telemarketing, insurance, tax, securities, and commodities), bribery, forgery and counterfeiting. The most common white collar crime involves some type of fraud.
White collar crimes can be prosecuted on either the state or federal level, depending on what kind of law was broken. Penalties for white collar crime vary, but convictions usually result in jail time, large fines and restitution to the victims of the crime.
In federal cases, Sentencing Commission statistics show that the rates of incarceration for certain white collar crimes are greater than those for criminals who possess drugs or firearms. To illustrate this, the numbers show a 35.6 percent rate of incarceration for fraud; a 39.3 percent rate of incarceration for embezzlement; and a 29.2 percent rate of incarceration for forgery or counterfeiting.
Although penalties for white collar crime can result in sentences of up to 30 years in prison, it is up to the judge to decide the offender’s fate. Sentences are usually lighter than the maximum sentences allowed for the crime. For example, the mean sentence for fraud is 12 months; embezzlement, 9.9 months; bribery, 16.2 months; tax offenses, 16.6 months; antitrust fraud, 12.7 months; and money laundering, 46.3 months.
Lenient imprisonment penalties for white collar crime may be to the criminal’s benefit, but they often pay for their crime in other ways, forfeiting their assets, relinquishing incriminating information about personal and professional associates, and sacrificing their rights to further relationships with the government or corporate world. Perhaps the most damaging penalties of white collar crime involve the damage to the offender’s reputation and loss of professional and personal credibility.
White Collar Crime and the Law
Those accused of white collar crime may be acquitted of all charges if they can prove the absence of intent, which means that while the defendant may have benefited from the alleged crime, there is no proof their actions were intentional. In other cases, the defendant may claim entrapment—a situation in which an employer or government personnel persuaded or forced the defendant to commit the crime. Plea-bargaining or other negotiations can also minimize punishment in the case of a conviction.
If you or a loved one has been accused of white collar crime, it is important to seek the immediate assistance of a qualified and compassionate criminal law lawyer who has extensive experience in white collar crime defense. Please contact us today to speak with a criminal attorney FREE of charge who can thoroughly examine your case, inform you of your legal rights and options, and ensure you are not subjected to any undue punishment.