Just because no one is hurt physically doesn’t mean white-collar crimes are victimless. A single financial scam can bankrupt a company, lose a widow her life savings, or cost millions of taxpayer dollars.
The financial penalties for white-collar crime, therefore, depend on what crime was committed, how much money was involved, whether it’s being prosecuted locally or on the federal level, and several other factors.
If you have been accused of white-collar crime, it is crucial that you speak with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney experienced in the intricacies of defending such a case. Even if you haven’t been arrested but think you might get caught up in an investigation, an experienced attorney might be able to help you avoid or limit any prison time.
Types of White-Collar Crime
Before we discuss the financial penalties for white-collar crime in California, we should probably say what white-collar crime is and what charges it includes. White-collar crime is generally defined as financial fraud committed by an individual, business, or government professional(s).
White-collar crime depends on deceit, lies, and document falsification to obtain a financial benefit, rather than using the threat of violence, such as in a robbery.
The criminal defense lawyers at the Simmrin Law Group represent clients accused of a variety of white-collar crimes. White-collar crime can be prosecuted at the local, state, and federal levels, depending on the circumstances. Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, we can help.
A few of the more common types of white-collar crime include:
- Auto insurance fraud
- Health care fraud
- Medi-Cal fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Probation violations
- Unemployment insurance fraud
- Workers’ comp fraud
Then there are a number of white-collar crimes that are automatically federal crimes because they involve federal agencies or laws. These include, but are not limited to:
- Antitrust violations
- Bank fraud
- Identity theft
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Securities fraud
- Medicare fraud
- Social Security fraud
We have experience defending clients in the district, state, and federal courts. In many cases, we are able to help our clients avoid spending any time behind bars, get the charges reduced, get the case dismissed, or win their case in a jury trial.
We make no guarantees, but we do guarantee we will work hard and dedicate ourselves to getting the best possible outcome for you and your family.
For a free legal consultation, call (310) 928-9347
White-Collar Crime Prison Time, Fines, and Restitution to the Victim
If convicted of a white-collar crime, you may be sentenced to time in county jail, state prison, or federal prison, depending on the severity of the crime and the harm done. In addition, the judge may impose fines and require you to pay restitution to the victim. These are two separate financial penalties imposed in white-collar crime cases, on top of any jail or prison time.
A fine is a payment you make to the court. It can cover court costs or be a punitive fine to discourage you from committing the same crime again. The judge may order you to pay a fine ranging from $1,000 to more than $10,000, depending on your individual circumstances.
Restitution is money the court orders you to pay to the victim as part of your punishment. A judge may require you to pay restitution to your victim(s) as a way to help them recover from the financial setbacks you caused.
The amount of restitution varies based on how much money was involved. Paying the required restitution could take you years, depending on the severity of the crime and your own financial situation.
If you are convicted, a judge can also require you to forfeit your personal property if it was used in the commission of the white-collar crime, or if you bought it with funds you gained through the commission of a crime.
For instance, if you embezzled money from your company and used funds to buy a fancy car, the court could require you to forfeit the vehicle. Asset forfeiture is a type of financial penalty that can affect your family as well if you used the family home, computers, or other property in the commission of a crime.
White-Collar Crimes Are Often Federal
When many people think about white-collar crime, they think about people in suits committing crimes that don’t involve the use of weapons or physical violence. They also think about the punishments involving so-called “country club” prisons that are nicer than the conditions that many non-incarcerated Americans live in every day.
While all of this is often true, white-collar crimes are not to be taken lightly. Even though these crimes don’t involve direct violence, many people have died as a result of white-collar crimes. Many families have sued white-collar criminals who bankrupted one of their loved ones, eventually leading that person to take their own life.
White-collar crimes are often prosecuted at the federal level. As a result, the penalties for these crimes tend to be quite high. While someone convicted of one of these crimes might get to serve their time in a nicer prison, there is a good chance that their prison sentence will be a lengthy one.
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You Need a Federal White-Collar Crimes Lawyer
When facing federal charges and financial penalties for a white-collar crime, you need a lawyer with experience. Hiring a white-collar crime lawyer will not be enough if they have only handled cases at the state or local level. Federal cases are handled differently than lower-level cases. You need a lawyer who knows how the federal court system works.
A simple change in process could completely destroy your defense if your attorney is unaware of the correct procedure. Even some of the best lawyers in state-level cases can find themselves over their heads in federal court if they are unfamiliar with the differences.
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Contact the Simmrin Law Group
If you or a loved one has been accused of a white-collar crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call the Simmrin Law Group in Los Angeles or use our contact form for a free case evaluation. We’re available to help you 24/7. Do not talk to the police or federal investigators until you’ve spoken with us.