Bad luck and bad timing doesn’t wait for anyone; they are unavoidable and they come in all shapes and forms – the form we are talking about today is white-collar criminal charges.
A white-collar crime is a non-violent crime committed in corporate or government sectors, usually involving illegal monetary schemes and frauds. Government officials and people in the corporate industry are the most common people to be charged with white-collar crimes because they deal the most with finance and property.
Whether small or big, a white-collar crime is a chargeable offense. Extortion, embezzlement, bribery, are the most common examples of white-collar crimes, while they also include big economic crimes, like insurance fraud, sales tax corruption, PA fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and more. Often, the law for white-collar crime applies to the criminal offenses that occur as a part of a business settlement. But they can also include crimes like violations of safety and health regulations intended to gain financial advantage.
It is important to remember here that white-collar crime cases don’t necessarily occur between two parties. It can include every illegal activity that is based on concealment, violation of trust, or deception for monetary benefit. A criminal can be committing these crimes against anyone; an individual, a company, the public, the government.
The Role of a White Collar Crime Lawyer
If someone faces charges for white-collar crimes, they cannot simply fight it without a lawyer. That is because white-collar crimes, although non-violent, are prosecuted as felonies, and if you are actually convicted, you will probably spend a substantial time in prison and pay a substantial amount of money to recover the damage. And even if you think you are innocent, you cannot establish in court without a lawyer. In fact, you need a lawyer who’s willing to be as aggressive as it is required to clear your name.
Getting a lawyer who is ready to give it all is crucial because white-collar criminal charges put your career, reputation, family, and overall life at risk. In the stress of it all, it is impossible for you to also hatch a scheme to plan your defense. Therefore, a lawyer to stand by you and fight for your freedom is a must. If the charges you are facing are big and serious, it is possible that authorities try to freeze your bank accounts and forfeit your house and other properties. If you have the right lawyer, they can not only try to protect your assets but also give their best to prevent a conviction and allow you to walk as a free and respected person.
Possible Defenses Against White Collar Crime Charges
If you are not an expert in legal matters, there is no way you can clear your name without a brilliant defense strategy. And whatever defense you are planning to have to protect yourself in court and avoid conviction, you cannot do it without a lawyer. So, the second you get a hint that you are about to face charges or investigation for white-collar crimes, you need to hire a white collar crime attorney and that will be your first defense.
Hire a Lawyer
People who are involved in business activities that might catch the wrong attention from legal authorities already keep a lawyer on retainer, because they don’t know when their steady luck will give up and they’ll be invited to an interrogation room. A lawyer on retainer keeps you updated and posted about possible consequences, and how to deal with authorities if the need arises.
However, if you don’t have a lawyer already, your first defense is to hire a lawyer who is experienced in white-collar crimes, has a good track record, and keeps your case their first priority of business. Once you have a lawyer, you would be presented with different options of defenses, action plans, and possible consequences of whatever decision you are going to make.
Here are some common defense strategies used in court to avoid conviction in white-collar crimes.
You Have Reported the Crime
The one who reports to the authorities of any illegal activity is known as a whistleblower. And there are certain laws that protect whistleblowers, even if they were involved in the crime that they are reporting themselves. If you have reported the crime yourself and brought substantial knowledge about white-collar crimes to respective authorities, there is a high chance that you cannot be prosecuted for these crimes.
If you continued to work on the behalf of law enforcement and provided further information to them regarding such crimes, you can even avail immunity and protect yourself from being prosecuted. For instance, if the authorities ask you to continue working undercover for them, or invite you to their cooperative meetings, you would probably not be culpable for the crime.
Another defense strategy against the charges of white-collar crime is the claim of unintended participation – that you didn’t know you were committing a crime. For instance, if the people who work above you were involved in crimes and you were somehow benefited from them or involved in them without knowing that you are becoming a part of criminal activity, it is very unlikely that you would be held responsible for their criminal activities.
For example, if your boss gave you a bonus check, you would of course accept it with joy – and you wouldn’t be charged for not knowing that the money for the check was actually made from illegal activity. Similarly, if you drove someone to the meeting where illegal activity was taking placed, you played an unintended part; therefore, you wouldn’t be prosecuted. In another scenario, if you conveyed or passed a certain piece of information to someone that later turned out to be wrong and illegal, it wouldn’t be your fault because you were only doing your job.
There are a lot of other scenarios where unintended participation can be your savior against the charges that you are facing.