Some individuals falsely believe that white-collar crimes and the associated penalties are not as serious as other criminal offenses. If you are facing these charges, it is important to understand that they are serious crimes and are punished harshly. Criminal defense attorney Scott D. Henry and his team have successfully represented clients fighting complex cases of fraud and financial crime. If you are facing these charges, it is essential to hire an Orange County white-collar crime lawyer who has the skills and experience to represent you against these serious offenses effectively.

What is a White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crime was a term first used in the 1930s that referred to nonviolent offenses. This criminal charge typically applied when violent crimes could not be proven. The federal government prosecutes these crimes committed in California through the district attorney and local prosecutor offices. In recent years, these crimes have become a high priority for local law enforcement and prosecutors and are punished more harshly than in the past. Some common types of white-collar crime include:

  • Bank Fraud
  • Corporate Fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Income Tax Fraud
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Mortgage Fraud

Most individuals charged with these offenses are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system and have never been investigated before. However, most people know they are being looked at by the government before charges are filed. It is essential to hire an experienced law firm as early as you can in the process rather than waiting until you are charged with a white-collar crime. Scott D. Henry and his team could meet with investigators to help provide evidence that supports your innocence, which could prevent charges from being filed.

Being Charged with a White-Collar Crime

White-collar charges are like any other crime, so you will need to apply for the same protections and legal defense as you would in any other criminal matter. The legal principles and theories involved in these offenses can be more complicated because they typically include a considerable number of financial documents and files. Obtaining an attorney who has the resources and skills to understand complex financial matters is critical.

Some suspects in these investigations may make hasty or uneducated statements to investigators that often seals their fate. Therefore, you should refrain from speaking with investigators about your alleged white-collar crime without the assistance of an experienced attorney. A lawyer could guide you through the interview and ensure you do not make any statements that could support the investigators’ view of events.

If you are arrested or convicted, it could have a devastating effect on your personal and professional reputation. Additionally, it could have a significant impact on accreditation and licensing. Immediately after charges are filed, the government can use forfeiture laws to take away your home and property. To help prevent this from occurring, it is crucial that you contact a proactive lawyer as soon as you are aware you are being investigated in a criminal matter.

Are All White-Collar Crimes Prosecuted at the Federal Level?

White-collar crimes are often prosecuted at the federal level, but state prosecutors can also pursue individuals accused of these offenses. Where the case is prosecuted largely depends on the severity of the offense. Many white-collar crimes are extremely complex and require extensive resources. Most states cannot afford to bring these matters to court, so they may decide to take it to the federal level.

If the case involved a significantly high financial loss, a federal law may have been broken. If so, the case is prosecuted in federal court. Some offenses are traditionally prosecuted in federal court, such as bank fraud, securities and commodities fraud, federal income tax fraud, and the bribery of federal officials.

The Penalties for These Crimes in Orange County

There are three types of financial penalties used for white-collar crime convictions. These are:

  • Fines – the amount is based on the case itself. Courts rarely impose the maximum penalty, but they are typically substantial.
  • Restitution – mandatory fines based on the financial loss of the victim.
  • Forfeiture – intended to prevent any “self-enrichment” by the defendant, meaning financial gains that resulted from the crime.

In the past, white-collar crimes were punished by a fine and probation. That is no longer the case. Today, these crimes are punished like any other serious offense, so they now can result in prison time. When the case involves a substantial financial loss, individuals convicted of white-collar crimes could receive a punishment similar to those convicted of violent crimes, such as murder or rape. An attorney in Orange County could help someone facing white-collar charges build a case that mitigates these potential penalties.

Contact an Orange County White-Collar Crime Attorney Today

These charges are serious and should be handled by an Orange County white-collar crime lawyer who has the necessary resources and skill set. Our top-rated attorneys at the Law Office at Scott D. Henry have a proven track record of representing clients facing similar charges. Our team also has a reputation and relationship with law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to help you fight the charges against you. Please contact us today for a free consultation.

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