The phrase “white-collar crime” evokes images of illegal business deals by the ultra-rich in fancy high-rise office buildings. They can happen anywhere to people of any economic status, and they are typically not very glamorous. If you are facing charges like these, a Lynwood white-collar crime lawyer can assist you in securing the best outcome possible.
What Is a White-Collar Crime?
White-collar crimes are considered less severe, somehow less criminal, than violent crimes. And on the surface, they may seem this way, but the state of California and the federal government view things differently. There are laws in place that harshly punish those charged with crimes of this sort.
White-collar crimes are not violent and most often occur in a business environment. These crimes are financial in nature and involve fraud against businesses and institutions, sometimes the government.
Depending on the crime, the accused may face felony or misdemeanor charges. The state of California and the federal government may charge them. Experienced white-collar crime attorneys in Lynwood can analyze your case and possibly have it dismissed or aid you in avoiding conviction if it goes to trial.
For a free legal consultation with a white-collar crime lawyer serving Lynwood, call (310) 896-2723
Types of White-Collar Crimes
There are many ways that these crimes are committed. Here is a list of the more common white-collar crimes:
- Insurance, wire, credit card, securities, and bank fraud
- Insider trading
- Tax evasion
- Money laundering
- Identity theft
- Cyber crimes
- Bribery and extortion
- Forgery and counterfeiting
- Ponzi and pyramid schemes
- Theft of intellectual property
- RICO violations
Even a misdemeanor charge can be damaging now and in the future. It is best to fight the charges with a strong defense before they have a chance to snowball into something more serious. A criminal record can follow you and create many difficulties throughout your life. For this reason, convictions are best avoided.
Lynwood White-Collar Crime Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Penalties for Being Convicted of a White-Collar Crime
Penalties will vary depending on the conditions surrounding the crime and the conviction. But, if convicted of a white-collar crime in California, you will face jail time, financial restitution to your victims, and fines paid to the court.
California state laws look unfavorably upon those involved with white-collar crimes. Their penalties can be especially harsh, especially when paired with the consequences of a federal conviction.
Penalties for a misdemeanor white-collar crime can include a jail sentence of up to one year served in a county jail. For a felony white-collar offense, you can face a state prison sentence of a minimum of a year. Fines of $1,000 to $10,000 can be owed to the court to deter pursuing another white-collar crime.
Aggravated Enhancements for White-Collar Crimes
California Penal Code §186.11 stipulates that white-collar crimes can be enhanced under aggravating circumstances. This means that the judge can include between two and five additional years on your sentence if you are charged with two or more embezzlement or fraud offenses.
So, if you are accused of committing two or more white-collar felonies against one victim on two or more occasions or if you were accused of committing this criminal felony against two or more separate victims, the judge may penalize you with further infractions.
Suppose you face this accusation with two prior convictions for white-collar crimes. In that case, the judge may also up your prison sentence if you acted illegally but non-violently and took more than $100,000 that belonged to another business or person. An enhancement such as this can only be applied to any criminal proceeding one time.
Repeat felony conduct that causes the loss of more than $500,000 in belongings gives the judge the option to add two, three, or five years to the convicted person’s sentence. If funds of $100,000 to $500,000 are stolen, you may have to spend an additional one to two years in prison.
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Why Penalties May Differ from Crime to Crime
Penalties differ depending on several factors. A Lynwood white-collar crimes attorney can outline what you face after reviewing your circumstances. But here are some of the things that typically affect a white-collar crime sentence:
- How many victims were involved in the crime
- The amount of money defrauded
- Prior convictions
- Abuse of Trust
- Proof of Concealment
- Proof of Deceit
You may imagine that white-collar criminals are sentenced to somehow better, cushier jails. But the truth is, prison is prison, and everyone wants to avoid it.
Possible Defenses Against White-Collar Crimes
Each case is different and will need to be analyzed and investigated by your white-collar crimes criminal defense attorney. The best strategy can be more closely developed after an expert has a chance to listen to the details surrounding your indictment. Here are a few common defenses that may apply to your case:
- False Accusations are a defense if one of the victims alleges that you used your position or power to illegally benefit financially because they wish to exact some revenge over you.
- No Criminal Intent if you made a mistake, rather than intentionally defrauding a person or business, your white-collar crime lawyer in Lynwood might be able to have your case dismissed, or at the very least, the charges may be reduced.
- The lawful right to the property can be proven to show that no crime was committed.
- Software and interactive computer service providers could be exempt from prosecution if your attorney can prove that you lacked probable reasons to acquire or use identifying information.
- Inadequate evidence is a defense argument that shows that you were charged quickly and without evidence to prove you were involved in a white-collar crime.
- The other party’s consent can sometimes be shown by signed contracts and testimony from the witnesses who were present.
To Begin Mounting Your Strongest Defense, Seek Counsel Immediately
White-collar crimes carry such large penalties and can alter your life if you are convicted of one. If you have been accused, contact your Lynwood white-collar crimes attorney as soon as possible so they can gather evidence and strategize for you. Their goal is to have the charges against you dropped or reduced while standing by you every step of the way.