What is a Federal and White Collar Crime?
Federal white collar crimes are nonviolent economic crimes. Perpetrators are often involved in business or finance or commit the crimes as employees. White collar crimes include things like embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, corruption, extortion, and tax evasion.
What is a Federal and White Collar Crimes Lawyer?
Federal and white collar crimes lawyers defend people facing these kinds of criminal charges. Some work with large corporations or smaller companies, while others represent individual clients faced with lesser charges. They build a defense for their clients using evidence, witnesses, and experts. They negotiate deals with the prosecutors and argue the defense in court for a jury verdict and sentencing.
When Do I Need a Federal and White Collar Crimes Lawyer?
You need this kind of lawyer if you have been charged with a related crime. Federal and white collar crime charges are serious. Some examples of the kinds of charges considered white collar crime and that likely fall under federal jurisdiction include:
- Cybercrimes, including scams, fraud, and identity theft
- Embezzling money from your employer
- Insider trading or other kinds of securities fraud
- Extortion, which includes blackmail
- Corruption, such as bribing a public official
- Phone scams
- Healthcare scams
Most people think of these crimes as big, newsworthy cases and crimes committed by executives and large corporations. Individuals commit white collar crimes on a smaller scale and can be charged with the same kinds of offenses. The penalties may not be as significant as with larger-scale crimes, but they can still be serious, costing you money and putting you in jail.
Why Hire a Federal and White Collar Crimes Lawyer?
These cases are complex, require financial experts and witnesses, and can take a long time to resolve. It’s important to rely on an expert in white collar crimes for these and other reasons:
- Relevant expertise
Don’t rely on your friend the lawyer to defend you from a white collar crime. The charges are serious, and defending you is complex. You need the expertise and experience of a lawyer who specializes in this kind of defense. They have the resources and network to investigate the charges and build a strong defense.
- Serious penalties
The federal government takes white collar crimes seriously. Before sentencing guideline reforms in 1984, white collar convictions often led to simple probation. Now, you can get a much more serious penalty and significant jail time. Furthermore, there is no parole in the federal system. You need an experienced lawyer to argue for lesser penalties.
- Negotiations out of court
An experienced white collar crimes lawyer can try to negotiate a settlement, so you don’t have to go to court. If you are guilty of the crime, a settlement will be quicker and less expensive in the end.
- Plea bargains
For more serious crimes, you may be facing jail time. The judge is likely to go easier on you if you admit to those crimes. A lawyer can help you decide if this is the right step to take and then bargain with the prosecution to get you a lighter sentence.
- Litigation experience
A trial may be unavoidable, and an experienced lawyer will know what to do. They can bring in financial experts and witnesses, make a strong defense to the jury, and get you a better outcome.
How to Find a Federal and White Collar Crimes Lawyer
For such a specialized area of the law, you need a firm or an attorney that focuses on white collar crimes. They have the experience and the knowledge to build the strongest possible defense. As you look for firms that take on white collar cases, be sure to select those that work with individuals more than large corporations.
Once you have lined up some options, make a careful decision. The consequences of a criminal trial are serious and life-changing. You need the best lawyer you can afford to represent you. Interview several lawyers before hiring one. Here are some important questions to ask:
- How long have you worked in white collar crimes?
- Have you worked with clients in a similar situation to mine?
- Can you refer me to past clients?
- What if I believe I’m innocent? What steps will you take to prove it?
- Is white collar crime defense your sole area of focus?
- Who in the firm will handle my case?
- How long do you think the process will take?
- Do you see any major roadblocks in my case?
Working with Your Lawyer
It’s essential that you work with your lawyer to build your defense. They need a lot of input and communication from you. This means handing over all relevant documents and communications. It also means being completely honest. If you committed a crime, your lawyer needs to know that to defend you.
Listen to your lawyer’s advice and guidance. The choice of what to do is yours but consider their suggestions carefully. You hired them for a reason. Be easy to contact and timely with meetings, depositions, and court dates.
With the right lawyer and cooperation on your part, you will get a better outcome in your white collar crime case. Facing charges like these can feel overwhelming, but this is why a federal and white collar crimes lawyer is essential.