Charged with White Collar Crime? Fighting Your Charges and Clearing Your Name
White collar crimes were once taken lightly, but this is no longer the case. Many prosecutors and courts are coming down harder on white collar criminals than even violent criminals. White collar crime charges can have devastating effects on your life. However, there are many ways that an experienced criminal attorney can help.
What Is White Collar Crime?
White collar crimes are generally crimes committed by professionals and motivated by money. These include fraud, bribery, extortion, forgery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, and similar crimes. The people who commit these crimes are often respected, upstanding members of the community. In many cases, people who are not involved in the crime are set up by the real criminals and take the fall for them.
In the wake of several high profile white collar crime scandals as well as the proliferation of cyber crime, many courts are taking white collar crime seriously. The public is highly aware and even terrified of white collar crimes such as identity theft. In response to this public hysteria, prosecutors are aggressively pursuing charges even on people who likely were not involved. The pendulum has truly swung in the other direction, and white collar crime charges are now more serious than charges for sexual crimes or assault.
Consequences of a White Collar Crime Conviction
New York State is the center of the financial world, so the justice system here is particularly vigilant about white collar crime. In addition to state charges, many defendants may be charged with federal or even international crimes. In addition, the United States has enacted the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which legislates heavy sentences for any person found guilty of a white collar crime who works for a company with even a small global presence. The laws regarding white collar crime are complex and the penalties for violating them are high. For example, Bernie Madoff received 150 years in prison for white collar crimes–more than a person convicted with murder often receives.
Penalties can include prison time, financial restitution up to millions of dollars, and the destruction of your career. It is important to hire an experienced white collar crimes lawyer to defend and advocate for you.
How an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney Can Help
There are many ways that a qualified white collar crime attorney can help you. First, they will help you to get a fair bail amount so you can continue working, take care of family obligations, and assist in preparing your defense.
Second, an attorney will ensure that there is evidence behind the charges against you. Prosecutors are often over-zealous about white collar charges unless a person has an experienced attorney on their side. There may be weak evidence, or evidence that was not collected according to laws protecting citizens. In many cases, an experienced attorney can get charges reduced or dropped before you even go to trial. An attorney also can advise you about the consequences of plea agreements and going to trial. They can negotiate on your behalf so you get the best possible outcome and a fair day in court. Last, an attorney also can help to investigate, which is important if you believe you have been falsely accused or framed.
The legal system is complex and demanding. You need someone working on your side who understands this process and has the experience to guide you through it. You deserve to be treated with respect and without judgment. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be the advocate you need to get on with your life. If you or a loved one have been accused of white collar crimes, contact Joseph Potashnik and Associates today.