What it Means to be Charged with a White Collar Crime
Most people have heard of white collar crimes even if they aren’t sure exactly how they’re defined. As the name suggests, this type of offense is commonly understood as being committed by white collar workers. The reality, however, is that white collar offenses can be committed by anyone, although it is true that this kind of offense almost always contains some type of economic motive and is not violent in nature. Some of the most commonly charged white collar crimes are identity theft, insider trading, credit card fraud, money laundering, healthcare fraud, and computer crimes. Regardless of the type of offense a person is being charged with, anyone who is accused of committing a white collar crime should retain an experienced white collar crime attorney who can help him or her begin planning a strong defense.
Fraud and White Collar Crimes
One of the most commonly charged white collar crimes in Florida is fraud, which is broadly defined as the gaining of control over a service or an object by purposely misleading another person. Embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery all fall under the broad category of fraud and are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the value of the property in question. In either case, defendants who are accused of committing some type of fraud face fines, jail time, restitution, and the potential revocation of a professional license. For instance, even a second degree misdemeanor, which is the least severe kind of criminal charge in Florida, is punishable by up to two months imprisonment. Low-level crimes that would normally qualify as misdemeanors or third degree felonies can also be charged as first degree felonies if a person commits two or more offenses that are related and involved property worth at least $50,000. In Florida, first degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment.
Because these consequences are so severe, some defendants are persuaded to agree to a plea bargain offered by the prosecutor to escape the possibility of harsher consequences. However, this is not always in a person’s best interests, especially if a prosecutor has a weak case, so it is critical for defendants who have been charged with fraud or another white collar crime to speak with an attorney before accepting any plea deals offered by the prosecutor.
Demonstrating that a person intended to commit a crime is crucial to a prosecutor’s case when charges of fraud are involved. For this reason, proving that a defendant never intended to defraud another person is one of the best ways that a defendant can avoid conviction. Proving that a person is the victim of mistaken identity or that his or her Fourth Amendment rights were violated during the preceding investigation are also solid defenses to white collar crime charges.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
To learn more about what constitutes a white collar crime and how to best protect yourself against these types of charges in Miami, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. at 305-670-9919.