White-collar crime refers to a group of crimes committed in a business or governmental setting, typically for the sake of financial gain. While this type of crime results in significant costs for California and the companies that operate here, the act of preventing white-collar crimes can also result in a number of false accusations. Unfortunately, individuals who have been falsely accused still face a risk of being convicted of the crime and the subsequent negative impacts to their professional career, finances, and even their freedom.
If you’ve been accused of a white-collar crime in California, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the legal options you have available in your unique circumstances. They may even be able to provide services aimed at reducing or eliminating the consequences you face.
TYPES OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
White-collar crimes are non-violent in nature and tend to be financially motivated. Some common types of white-collar crimes include:
- Fraud: A wrongful or criminal deception committed for financial gain. Common types of fraud charges include bank, health care, credit card, or mail fraud.
- Blackmail or bribery: Blackmail is the use of threats to influence someone’s actions, while bribery involves promising someone something of value if they commit a certain action.
- Counterfeiting: Making a fraudulent replica of money or something else of value.
- Embezzlement: Theft or misappropriation of funds by one in a position of trust.
- Forgery: Producing a copy of a document, signature, banknote, or even a piece of art.
- Extortion: Obtaining something — most often money — through force or threats.
- Money laundering: Financial transactions made by criminals to disguise the proceeds they’ve obtained through criminal activity.
In California, white-collar crimes are commonly referred to as criminal profiteering activities and are prohibited under California Penal Code Section 186. Depending on the circumstances of the case, these crimes can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors. While most criminal profiteering charges are brought in state court, there are some cases that will be handled in federal court.
HOW TO FIGHT WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES
The penalties for the conviction of a white-collar crime often involve significant fines and even jail time. Depending on the charge, if you are convicted, you could also face difficulty in the future obtaining employment or housing due to your criminal record. If you’ve been accused of a white-collar crime, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case so they can help you understand the criminal process and develop a defense strategy.
HOW A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY CAN HELP
One of the most common defense strategies used in this type of case is lack of intent to commit a crime. Perhaps the accused was not aware that their activities were illegal, they simply made a mistake, or they failed to understand changes in laws or regulations. Procedural missteps by investigators can also be brought to court to defend someone against a charge of committing a financial crime.
Your attorney can perform a thorough investigation of your case, including determining the evidence that investigators have against you in order to determine the best path forward for your case. Sometimes, this means fighting the case in court and challenging evidence and witness testimony. Other times, it can mean negotiating with the prosecutor for a plea deal that presents a conviction on a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties and fines.
Throughout the criminal process, your attorney is available to ensure that your rights are protected and you are being treated fairly by law enforcement personnel, the prosecutor, and the court.
IF YOU’VE BEEN CHARGED WITH A WHITE-COLLAR CRIME, CONTACT DOD LAW, APC
It is important to understand that white-collar crime can result in potentially serious repercussions. A criminal defense attorney from Dod Law, APC can provide you with a clear picture of what the potential penalties for your crime are and can help determine mitigating factors in order to reduce or eliminate the penalties you face.
For more than 19 years, the legal team at Dod Law, APC has been protecting the rights of those who have been accused of white-collar crimes. Let us explore your legal options with you. For a free case evaluation, contact us at (619) 814-5110 or send us a message online.