Friday, October 4, 2013

What is White Collar Crime?

Newspapers and TV - and lawyers and judges - unofficially label certain criminal offenses as "white collar" crimes.  These typically involve the alleged stealing, misuse and otherwise making off with lots of other people's money.  The media version is of the blue-suited, white-collared accountant, business person, lawyer, or other professional with a briefcase full of cash absconding to Mexico.  Hence the phrase white collar crime. 

They usually involve crimes that are not inherently violent, like say assault, robbery or homicide.  They are also distinguishable from the more everyday variety of crimes, like drinking and driving, drug possession or domestic violence.

White collar crimes also tend to be prosecuted more frequently (though certainly not exclusively) in federal court, because they involve the crossing of state lines, significant amounts of money, numerous co-defendants or victims throughout the country or world, and a complex myriad of federal statutes.

Indeed, often their very complexity qualifies them as white collar crimes, seemingly involving a tangled web of corporations and associations, bank accounts, volumes of paper, accountants, lawyers, politicians, and the like.

Lastly, white collar crimes can carry with them long prison sentences and huge fines.  Indeed, lawyers handling them have noticed an increase in the number of such cases being prosecuted and the severity of sentences.  Much of this is the result of public and political pressure, and ebbs and flows with the economy.

Fraud, embezzlement, forgery, tax evasion, Ponzi schemes, misuse of entrusted funds, etc. can all qualify as white collar crimes.  If you or anyone you know is charged with one of these, get a good lawyer on board fast.  The stakes are high, the consequences severe. 

The best white collar defense lawyers immerse themselves in their client's case, learning the business and its nuances, compiling and personally reading the documentation, discussing the case with experts who can help, investigating and exploring every possible avenue of defense.  It takes commitment, dedication, and great amounts of time most "general practice" or high-volume lawyers simply do not have.  Call Sanderson Law, PC, when you or someone you know needs help.

No comments:

Post a Comment