What is a “White Collar Crime”?
Because numerous high profile individuals have been convicted of white collar crimes in recent years, many people believe you must be a celebrity or a Wall Street tycoon to face these types of charges. In reality, white collar crime is a catch-all term for a variety of criminal offenses that typically involve ordinary people.
The phrase “white collar crime” was created to describe a range of criminal acts that involve fraud and deceit. Because most of these charges involve non-violent crimes committed by office workers in a business setting, the term refers to the type of white dress shirt that was historically worn by corporate employees to distinguish themselves from laborers in the working class. In most cases, as with credit card fraud, embezzlement, tax fraud, securities violations, and identity theft, white collar crimes involve the mishandling of money.
Serious Crimes and Severe Penalties
White collar crimes involve complex transactions that require a thorough understanding of tax law and federal regulations. Because these types of cases are often subject to both state and federal prosecution, it is important to work with a lawyer who is comfortable defending a case at any level. In some cases, federal law enforcement agencies spend months or even years conducting an investigation before charging a suspect. It is not uncommon for individuals to be unaware that they are the subject of a federal investigation.
Because this is often the first time they have encountered the criminal justice system, many white collar offenders are overwhelmed and intimidated by the experience of being charged with a serious crime. The prospect of a felony conviction and the idea of spending time is prison is emotionally draining. Additionally, many sentences require the offender to pay restitution for his crimes. If he can’t afford to repay the money, the government can seize assets, such as cars, houses, and other personal property. With so much riding on the outcome of your case, you need a criminal defense lawyer who can quickly assemble an intelligent, effective defense.