White Collar Crimes
What is while collar crime law?
White collar crimes are offenses committed by outwardly respectable individuals who hold a high position on the social hierarchy, involving financial transactions from which they stand to profit. They are deceptive and nonviolent in nature, and the victim(s) of perpetrators' illegal actions may not be immediately apparent. However, as evidenced by the scandals that emerged as the result of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, white collar criminals can have a devastating impact on society.
In most white collar crime cases, a so-called "paper trail" is the key piece of evidence. If you have been accused of white collar crimes, criminal defense lawyers, not business attorneys, will represent you in court.
Offenses Covered by White Collar Crime Law
While the term "white collar crime" is informal and has no strict or uniform definition, it usually includes offenses such as bribery, embezzlement, white collar fraud, insider trading and securities violations, price fixing and computer fraud. Charges of obstruction of justice, perjury, racketeering and larceny may also arise as the result of a white collar crime investigation.
In the United States, white collar crimes can be tried at either the state or federal level, depending on the nature of the offense. Penalties typically include stiff fines and/or prison sentences, and offenders may be ordered to pay restitution to affected individuals or families.
If you are the victim of a white collar crime, you may be able to launch a civil lawsuit in an attempt to recover the assets you've lost as a result of the illegal activity.
What to Do if You're Charged
If charges are formally laid against you, it is highly advisable that you contact a criminal defense attorney at once. Anything you tell the police during the investigation can be used as evidence at your trial, and you have rights and protections under the law that you should be careful to observe.
In the event that a white collar crime investigation is ongoing and may produce evidence allowing you to be charged, you should also speak to a lawyer. It is very important that you handle yourself in a proper, lawful manner while the investigation is ongoing to prevent the possibility of obstruction or perjury charges being added to the docket.