The Florida White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act
White collar crimes are aggressively prosecuted nationwide, but Florida residents face additional consequences under the Florida White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act. As a result of this law’s passage, those who are accused of multiple white collar crimes face punishments as severe as those meted out to defendants convicted of drug trafficking and robbery with a firearm. Although the law was enacted to protect victims, especially the elderly, from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people, it has also had the effect of putting those who committed nonviolent offenses in prison for years. For this reason, it is critical for those who have been accused of committing a fraud-related offense to speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Under Florida’s white collar crime law, a person can be charged with committing an aggravated white collar crime if he or she engaged in at least two white collar crimes that are interrelated or have the same or similar characteristics, including:
- Victims; and
- Methods of commission.
A person found guilty of committing an aggravated white collar crime faces severe penalties if he or she attempted to obtain $50,000 or more and the offense involved:
- Ten or more elderly persons;
- Twenty or more persons; or
- The state of Florida.
If these requirements are all fulfilled, a defendant can be charged with a first degree felony, which can be punished at offense severity level nine. Other offenses at this level include attempted murder, manslaughter, home-invasion robbery with a weapon, and drug trafficking.
Under Florida’s white collar crime law, a person convicted of multiple white collar offenses must not only suffer the consequences required by law for the particular crime committed, but may also be required to:
- Pay as much as $500,000 in fines or double the amount that was fraudulently gained, whichever amount is greater;
- Pay restitution to each victim, even those who were not named in the lawsuit;
- Pay for all court costs, which can be prohibitively expensive; and
- Complete a ten year probationary term.
A court can also choose to make payment of restitution a condition of probation, which means that if a person lapses in making payments, his or her probation will be considered violated. This can have serious consequences, as probation violations can result in additional jail time and the assessment of hefty fines.
Contact an Experienced South Florida White Collar Crime Lawyer
Those charged with multiple white collar crimes can, in some cases, be charged with committing an aggravated white collar crime. Aggravated white collar crimes are considered as severe as first degree felonies, which are punishable by significant jail time and fines. Having the advice of an experienced white collar crime attorney in these situations can make all the difference in a case’s outcome, so if you live in south Florida and are being investigated for multiple white collar crimes, please contact the legal team at Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys by calling 305-670-9919 today.