White-collar crime is loosely defined as non-violent crimes committed for financial gain or to prevent financial loss. White-collar crime does not mean that the offense was not serious, but that no violence or threat of violence occurred in the course of the illegal activity.
You should know that white-collar crime is handled in both state and federal court. Which court processes a particular case depends on the type of crime, the specific circumstances regarding how the crime was committed, where it was committed, and if a federal agency was involved. Anyone facing these charges should consult with a Los Angeles, white-collar crime lawyer.
At the Simmrin Law Group, we have lawyers who specialize in defending clients charged with white-collar crimes in both state and federal court. In many cases, we can get the charges reduced, or help negotiate a better plea deal than the one you were offered originally. We also defend our clients in court if their case goes to trial.
Who Investigates White-Collar Crimes?
Several federal agencies — the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), coordinate to enforce federal white-collar crime laws. In addition, the state of California has several agencies that enforce white-collar crime laws at the state level.
These government agencies do a lot of research and spend a lot of time investigating before ever bringing charges against you. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight the charges. It just means you need experienced legal representation. Don’t talk to law enforcement or the prosecutor until you’ve spoken to a lawyer. It’s your right.
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Different Procedures for State and Federal Court
When hiring a lawyer to represent you in a white-collar crime case, it is important to make sure you hire someone with experience handling cases in the court where your case will be prosecuted. There are many differences between the procedures of a state or federal court. You need a lawyer who is familiar with all of the rules.
When looking for an attorney, make sure you hire someone with experience in white-collar criminal defense at the level under which you will be prosecuted.
Federal White-Collar Crimes
A white-collar crime is nearly always a federal crime if it involves a federal agency, if it crossed state lines, or if it involved the banking system in any way. Specifically, these federal white-collar crimes can include:
- Antitrust violations
- Bank fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Environmental crime
- Identity theft
- Internet crimes
- Immigration law violations
- Mail fraud
- Money laundering
- Wire fraud
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State Level White-Collar Crimes
A white-collar crime is generally charged at the state level if the fraud involved a state agency or only involved fraud within state lines. But it’s possible to be charged with a white-collar crime at both the state and federal levels, depending on your individual circumstances. Common white collar crimes at the state level include:
- Auto insurance fraud
- Health care fraud
- Medi-Cal fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Probation violations
- Unemployment insurance fraud
- Workers compensation fraud
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Possible Penalties If You Get Convicted of a White-Collar Crime
Penalties for committing a white-collar crime can be harsh, especially if you’ve been convicted of a white-collar crime before or if you defrauded an individual, company, or government agency out of an extraordinarily high amount of money.
Penalties vary depending on whether you were convicted in state or federal court, with federal penalties generally being more severe. If you’re convicted, you may face:
- Jail or prison time anywhere from six months to 30 years
- Fines anywhere from $1000 to $1 million
White-Collar Crime Is Not Victimless
Many people have the false notion that white-collar criminals are not as dangerous as other criminals due to the fact that they do not use violence in their crimes. While they may not carry a weapon, there are plenty of instances where white-collar crime has led to death and destruction.
Victims of white-collar crimes often find themselves in desperate situations after having their money stolen. Many white-collar crime victims have committed suicide after losing all of their money. Others have resorted to criminal activity of their own to try and get themselves out of the hole in which they have found themselves.
White-collar crime can be devastating for the victims, which is why there are so many agencies and so many resources devoted to putting these criminals behind bars. If you are facing a white-collar crime charge, it is important to have an experienced legal team on your side, because the prosecution will be working hard to put you away.
How a White-Collar Crime Attorney Can Help
Of course, your best chance for avoiding jail time or hefty fines is to never get convicted in the first place. Our criminal defense team has a history of winning. When you hire our firm, we go to work for you right away, conducting our own investigation, examining the arrest records, search warrants, and other paperwork involved with your case.
Armed with this information, we can often challenge the evidence being used against you. We can also likely get certain evidence blocked. That puts us in a position to negotiate a better plea deal or even get the case dismissed. We can’t promise you that we will win your case, but we can promise that we will:
- Pay the greatest attention to detail during every step of your case
- Provide dedicated legal representation backed by decades of experience
- Make your defense as solid as possible, using lessons learned from past cases
- Fight aggressively on your behalf
- Refuse to accept anything less than the absolute best possible outcome for your case
Contact a Los Angeles White-Collar Crime Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been charged with a white-collar crime, you need an experienced Los Angeles white-collar crime lawyer working with you. A white-collar crime lawyer can help make sure you get the best possible outcome for yourself and your family. Call the Simmrin Law Group or use our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation. We’re available to help 24/7.