The term “white collar crime” often gets tossed around the media, yet many people aren’t clear on what white collar crimes are and who is affected by them. There’s a general understanding that money is typically involved, but that’s about the extent of the average person’s understanding.
This is problematic for a couple different reasons. First, hearing about crimes from the media without the benefit of a thorough explanation of the crime involved leaves the subject open for misconceptions. Secondly, these misconceptions can lead to individuals committing acts that they might not realize fall under the serious category of white-collar crimes.
Let’s take a minute to define white-collar crimes and the potential consequences a person may face if convicted.
What Are White Collar Crimes?
The term white collar crime is typically used to describe a crime that is non-violent and financially motivated. Those who commit white collar crimes might do so for personal financial gain, or to benefit the company they work for. There are situations where a person may commit a white-collar crime because they feel they have no choice, whether it’s due to pressure from an employer or fear of their own personal financial devastation.
There are many different criminal acts that fall under the umbrella of white-collar crimes, all of which involve deceit and financial gain. A few common examples of white-collar crimes include:
- Fraud, including tax fraud, mortgage fraud, health care fraud, and securities fraud among others
- Tax evasion
- Money laundering
- Identity theft
- Public corruption
- Cyber crimes
How Serious Are White Collar Crimes?
Due to media coverage of high-profile white-collar crimes, many people fail to realize that even smaller cases of financially motivated crimes are taken quite seriously by the courts in California. While some white-collar crimes can be considered misdemeanors or wobbler offenses, most criminal acts that fall under this umbrella are considered federal felonies and will be prosecuted as such.
This means that a person who has committed a felony white collar crime can potentially serve an extended period of incarceration, pay restitution and hefty fines. In cases where a person has two previous convictions for a serious white-collar crime, a judge may add additional time onto the sentence.
White collar crime cases are complex, often because charges are usually not issued without sufficient undeniable evidence. It is possible to defend yourself against these serious charges with the help of an experienced white-collar crime attorney. Each case needs to be thoroughly evaluated but defense strategies can include providing evidence of duress, incapacity or insanity.
Connect With a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’re being charged with a white-collar crime, it’s important to speak with a San Diego criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. You need an attorney with experience and an aggressive approach to defending your white-collar crime case. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Kirby to request a consultation and begin building a strategic defense for your case.