MANASSAS ATTORNEY REPRESENTS WHITE-COLLAR CRIME DEFENDANTS
White-collar crimes are not crimes of violence, but these crimes are quite serious and may affect thousands of people. Most financially-motivated, non-violent crimes are considered white-collar crimes. If you’re accused of a white-collar crime in Virginia, you’ll need a good attorney’s help.
A white-collar crime can be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor, depending on the details of the crime and the record of the alleged perpetrator. Convictions for the most serious white-collar crimes usually result in stiff fines and lengthy prison sentences.
Moreover, criminal penalties are not the only penalties you’ll face if you are convicted of a white-collar crime. A conviction is often followed with a civil lawsuit filed by victims who seek to recoup their losses.
A white-collar criminal conviction will probably prevent you from working for banks or other financial institutions. If you hold a professional license, a white-collar criminal conviction means that your professional licensing board will probably take disciplinary action against you.
WHAT CRIMES ARE WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES?
White-collar crimes typically involve fraud, deception, and theft. The victims are usually businesses, banks, and governmental agencies, but anyone who’s affluent could become a victim, and anyone could be a target for identity theft. White-collar crimes include:
- Bankruptcy fraud: any failure to declare assets in bankruptcy proceedings
- Credit card fraud: unauthorized use of a credit card or unauthorized access to an account
- Embezzlement: the theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s care and trust
- Forgery: illegally altering a financial document or faking a signature on a financial document for gain
- Money laundering: transactions that hide the source or identity of illegally obtained funds
Many white-collar crimes are violations of federal law. If you are subpoenaed in Virginia to testify before a federal grand jury, you should consult first with an experienced Manassas white-collar criminal attorney.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS?
If you are subpoenaed or placed under arrest in connection with a white-collar crime, here are some of the penalties you might face:
Bankruptcy fraud: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aggressively investigate bankruptcy fraud. If you make a false statement on a bankruptcy filing, you could be convicted, fined up to $250,000, and serve up to five years in federal prison.
Identity theft: Identity theft is increasingly common. Under the federal Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, a conviction for identity theft can be penalized with substantial fines and up to 15 years in federal prison.
Mail fraud: When someone uses the mail to make false claims and commit fraud, it’s mail fraud. A conviction is punishable with up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. If a financial institution is the victim, the penalty increases to 30 years and/or $1 million in fines.
Embezzlement: Embezzlement can be charged at either the state of federal level. The penalties for an embezzlement conviction depend on the details of the charge and on the amount and type of property or money stolen.
Anyone who embezzles money or property worth over $1,000 from the U.S. government or its agencies will be fined $250,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years if convicted. For money or property worth $1,000 or less, the penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to a year in custody.
IN WHITE-COLLAR CASES, WHY IS A LAWYER’S HELP SO CRITICAL?
Anyone who is investigated for or charged with a white-collar crime will require the services and skills of the right criminal defense attorney. Even if you’re eventually acquitted, an investigation or prosecution can devour your resources and consume weeks or months of your time.
The key to any criminal defense is to find flaws in the government’s case. In a white-collar case, a defense attorney will work first to have the charge reduced or dropped. Sometimes, white-collar charges can be dismissed based on an agreement with the complaining or victimized party.
In other cases, the best result is a reduced sentence in return for restitution or completion of a term of probation. When the evidence is persuasive and a conviction is certain, a defense lawyer can argue for alternatives to incarceration including community service and house arrest.
HOW TO LEARN MORE
If you are under investigation or placed under arrest in connection with a white-collar criminal investigation, let Manassas white-collar criminal attorney Scott C. Nolan represent you. He will work to bring the matter to a swift, positive conclusion.
Attorney Scott C. Nolan is skilled at resolving the most complicated criminal cases. You can learn more – or schedule a consultation – by contacting his law offices promptly. If you are implicated in any type of white-collar crime, a good lawyer’s advice is your right.