How to Prepare an Effective Defense in a White Collar Crimes Case
When you are under investigation for one or more white-collar crimes, don’t wait before you hire an attorney. These cases are complex and confusing. A proper defense is critical to minimize the ongoing effects on your personal life and career.
Examples of White Collar Crimes
What is the difference between blue-collar crimes and white-collar crimes? While these terms aren’t legal jargon, they are familiar phrases to differentiate different types of crimes.
The phrase “blue-collar crimes” refers to violent acts, such as armed robbery, assault, or murder. Certain non-violent crimes also fall in this category, including illegal gambling and prostitution.
On the other hand, white-collar crimes encompass illegal activities involving business professionals and government officials. Examples of white-collar crimes include:
- Identity theft
- Mortgage fraud
- Corporate fraud
- Tax evasion
- Healthcare fraud
- Election law violations
- Money laundering
- Kickback charges
Since the accused commits white-collar crimes using digital tools and online access, it’s not immediately apparent that a crime is occurring.
Under Investigation? Tips for Preparing Your Case
It can take months or years for the investigation and court proceedings. But that doesn’t mean you should wait to see what happens in the future. If you know that you are involved in a white-collar crime investigation, be proactive in preparing your case. Early action gives you time to protect yourself and be ready for whatever might happen in the coming months.
Follow these tips to ensure you have a solid defense:
- Hire a White Collar Crime Attorney: Find legal representation with experience in these types of crimes. The sooner you bring on legal support, the better the outcome you can achieve. Your lawyer will offer guidance and advice through all stages of the investigation and court proceedings.
- Right to Remain Silent: Your Miranda rights mean that you have the right to remain silent. Before, during, and after the arrest, never talk to investigators or officials about the details of your case. If these conversations need to happen, then make sure to always have your lawyer present before discussing the situation.
- Avoid the Press: Legal coverage of your case could be harmful to your defense. While specific legal stories are unavoidable, don’t add fuel to the fire by sharing your story publicly.
- Protect Your Assets: It’s common for investigators to freeze bank accounts and assets, which could leave you stranded without financial resources to pay your bills. Talk to your lawyer about protecting available resources and holding access to your assets.
You deserve to work with a knowledgeable legal representative who has the experience and resources to protect your interests. A skilled attorney can assist in building the right defense strategy to match your case.
White Collar Crimes: The Stakes are High
Most white-collar crimes come with severe penalties. If you are found guilty, then the conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life. Even though these crimes are not violent in nature, the prosecution seeks severe punishment because of how the actions affect other businesses and people.
When the justice system convicts someone of a white-collar crime, potential consequences might include:
- Lengthy prison sentences
- High fines
- Asset forfeiture
- Restitution requirements
It takes years to complete the investigation. The prosecution will work hard to build a solid case against you. So, it’s essential that you are proactive in building a defense with a skilled attorney.
Potential Defense Strategies for While Collar Crimes
Your attorney will evaluate the situation, complete a thorough investigation, then offer recommendations for your defense. Each case is unique, which is why you need a lawyer who takes the time to personalize your case. Potential defense strategies might include:
- Insanity: Pleading insanity doesn’t mean that the defendant is “crazy.” Instead, this term is an indication that the defendant has a mental defect that makes the person unable to distinguish between right and wrong. Insanity is a challenging defense to prove if there is a long history with obvious intent.
- Lack of Intent: Sometimes, you can build the defense on the premise that the person had no intent to harm others. This defense aims to show that the actions were accidental, with no intention for personal gain.
- Duress: The term “entrapment” refers to a situation where a person commits a crime because of pressure from someone else. For example, a defendant might be facing force or blackmail that led to the actions. Duress is a method commonly used in white-collar criminal defense. It passes the blame to another person or party.
- Incapacity: Most white-collar crimes require a perpetrator to have high levels of intelligence. These crimes often involve business people. For a guilty verdict, the prosecution must establish that the person had the capacity to understand the nature of these crimes. One defense strategy is to prove incapacity – that the defendant didn’t understand the effects or consequences of their actions.
Pleading Guilty or Going to Trial?
When the prosecution has solid evidence, then your criminal defense attorney might advise you to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. Your lawyer will help you evaluate your options and determine the potential outcome if you go to trial.
When you have a strong case and a solid defense, then your attorney will assist in navigating a courtroom experience. On the other hand, pleading guilty is one strategy to consider if you have a low chance of winning at trial.
If you decide to move forward with a plea deal, your attorney will assist with the negotiations to help you achieve the most favorable outcome. The sentencing process varies greatly, depending on the amount of money involved and the nature of the situation.
Experienced Criminal Law Attorneys
When you need help with criminal defense, then our team at AMA Law is here to assist. Hire an Oklahoma attorney with related experience to improve the overall outcome of your case. Reach out to schedule a consultation to see if our legal services are the right fit for your needs.