Following the financial crisis, prosecutors began a new push to crack down on white collar crimes. This included an increase in proactive investigations, decisions to prosecute cases that previously would not have been prosecuted, and a push for harsher penalties in the cases that are prosecuted. Prosecutors frequently look to use white collar cases to set an example that shows that they are tough on these types of crimes. With that in mind, it can be crucial to have an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
What Exactly is a White Collar Crime?
“White collar crime” isn’t a specific legal charge but a common name for a broad class of crimes that are generally financial in nature. Common examples of white collar crimes include embezzlement, healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud. The term comes from the fact that these types of crimes are typically committed by individuals who are in an office setting where white-collared dress shirts are worn.
What Are the Penalties for White Collar Crimes?
White collar crimes are punishable according to the specific crime committed. Theft is one of the most common white collar charges, and if the amount stolen was over $25,000, the penalty is 3 to 12.5 years in prison, a fine of up to $150,000, court surcharges, and civil restitution. Nearly all white collar crimes cross the $1,000 threshold for a felony theft and may be subject to other felony charges such as forgery. White collar crimes may also fall under federal jurisdiction, and the federal sentencing guidelines often call for even harsher penalties than for similar conduct under Arizona law.
Defending a White Collar Charge
Unlike many criminal charges, white collar charges are often brought after a lengthy investigation, and the targets of the investigation frequently find out they are being investigated before any charges are filed. This presents an excellent opportunity to get out in front of the investigation and possibly prevent charges from being filed.
White collar cases typically involve complex facts and seemingly ambiguous circumstances. A complaint may have been filed by a person who suffered a financial loss in a complicated transaction, and the prosecutors may suspect fraud because they don’t fully understand the transaction.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Schill Law Group are ready to show that no criminal conduct occurred. Our team of attorneys include former prosecutors and a judge who know what prosecutors look for when bringing charges and what evidence will sway a jury in court. Most importantly, you will remain in contact with a single attorney from the moment you come to our firm so you can be assured that your lawyer fully understands how to attack the charges against you no matter how complex your case is. Call our Phoenix, Arizona, office today to schedule a free consultation.