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Defending White Collar Crimes

The term White-collar crime refers to nonviolent crimes that are committed by businessmen and government professionals. Such crimes are financially motivated. White-collar crimes normally refer to crimes by people who are slightly wealthier – those who wear a “white collar” to work. They generally involve fraud or public corruption. For the first time, white collar crimes were defined by the sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”.

Some of the examples of white-collar crimes include fraud, insider trading, securities and commodities fraud, embezzlement, mortgage fraud, financial institution fraud, cybercrime, money laundering, identity theft, forgery, copyright infringement, fraud against the government, election law violations, mass marketing fraud, health care fraud and bribery.

White-collar crimes are not victimless. Sometimes, a single scam is enough to sabotage a company or devastate a family financially by wiping out the savings of their entire lives. It can even cost investors billions of dollars. The fraud schemes nowadays are more sophisticated than ever before.

White-collar criminal charges are a complex and evolving area of the law. There is variation among the criminal penalties of white-collar crimes. Most states charge the convicted with a fine and a prison sentence, and sometimes a combination of both. The criminal laws approve maximum penalties, which are quite severe most often. However, less than the maximum sentence is authorized to most of the defendants.

The sentencing guidelines followed by the courts vary depending upon the jurisdiction. The guidelines are followed in order to ensure that the criminal sentences are uniform, therefore, the judge is given little choice while imposing the sentence. Any prior criminal record and the crime for which the defendant is convicted are taken into consideration. The court, in some cases, may also consider factors that will enforce a sentence other than the sentence required by the guidelines.

A defendant who does not have any significant criminal record may be sentenced to probation, a postponed jail sentence, or a jail sentence that is far shorter than the maximum sentence. The convicted may also be charged with fines and is often required to confiscate any loss or pay compensation money to their victims.

There are a few strategies to defend oneself from being convicted of a white-collar crime:

  • Showing a lack of intent to commit a crime (for example, proving that you never intended to deceive someone) can help drop your charges. You can do this by preventing prosecution from proving intent
  • Demonstrating a lack of knowledge of unlawful activity occurring and your participation in it. When multiple parties are involved, it can give you a save passage
  • If you were made to forge documents by force, then you can take the help of coercion in the court room. Threats, fraud or force can also be used for entrapment defense to stick
  • Plea bargain may also be used when the defendant wants to admit his guilt. A shorter sentence is offered in exchange of guilty plea

Author Bio:

Scott Cohen is a highly qualified and dedicated Philadelphia Family Lawyer who can help you. Learn more about your legal options during a free consultation Call (267) 297-2952