• An Overview on White Collar Crimes

    Author : White Collar Firm January 23, 2017

    It can be tempting to chalk up criminal defense attorneys as the images you see on TV of overworked public defenders, in the trenches, defending hardened criminals against the righteous state. However, many criminal defense attorneys specialize in cases that are non-violent, such as white collar crime.

    White collar crime usually pertains to defendants who are professionals, like bankers, attorneys, doctors, or accountants. Everyone has the right to a good defense, even white-collar criminal defendants. Some of the most common white collar crimes are wire fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, environmental violations by corporations, embezzlement, and tax evasion. This blog will go in depth into many of these so-called white-collar crimes in the future, but for now, an overview of what to expect during a white collar defense and prosecution might be helpful.

    These crimes can be incredibly complex. They often involve huge corporations, and the crimes can have occurred at all levels- from the receptionist up to the CEO. Therefore, criminal defense can be hugely paperwork heavy – perhaps more so than any other kind of criminal defense work. In industries like banking, there is often a paper trail of questionable transactions. Therefore, criminal defense attorneys must be skilled at reading bank statements and other financial documents, as well as thorough.

    There are also a lot of civil elements in white collar crimes, like in SEC investigations. Sometimes, there are environmental issues, which can involve administrative law. Overall, a criminal defense lawyer for white collar crimes must be pretty savvy on all levels of the law, and at a bare minimum, be willing to work with other lawyers representing the same parties to protect their clients’ best interests.

    In many cases, an initial investigation will occur. Very often, the companies will simultaneously (or, if they are on top of it, preliminarily) conduct their own internal investigation. It will never hurt to seek out the advice of an attorney in the event you think you might be involved in a criminal enterprise – whether intentional or not. The earlier you get an attorney involved, the easier it will be to keep them informed, and the faster they can act and defend you should you get in a bind with the prosecuting authorities. An attorney’s involvement can also protect you and stave off investigations. In healthcare fraud cases, for example, sometimes doctor’s offices fail to keep a good internal policy for detecting and preventing insurance fraud. Lawyers will be able to examine your current practices, and develop a good program to use to minimize your risk. Lawyers are trained to mitigate and minimize their client’s exposure. If you are a professional and do not have a competent attorney on retainer, it might be worth the investment to you or your company.

    Always remember that even though white-collar crimes can sound less glamorous and be a bit more boring than the sensationalized crimes television shows, you are still entitled to the same basic Constitutional protections of any other criminal defendant. You have the right to an attorney, a right to a jury (depending on the degree of crime) and the right to remain silent. If you arrested, it is best to not say a word until your lawyer is with you. And always get a lawyer in cases like these. The rules of procedure can make the difference between a guilty verdict and a not guilty verdict.

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