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What Do You Need to Know When Accused of White Collar Crimes in Texas?

guy in handcuffs behind his back holding money

Explaining White Collar Charges and Your Legal Options

Being successful in business requires dedication, a keen eye for financial details, and the ability to work with other professionals and clients. But when you’re accused of a white-collar crime, it can impact your business and professional reputation and even lead to the end of your career. White-collar crimes are especially serious because they often involve investigations and prosecution at the federal level, which can involve agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
You need to know what these types of crimes mean and how an experienced defense attorney can help.

What’s Required for Someone to Be Charged With a White Collar Crime?

Each criminal charge has its own elements that must be proven to be able to convict someone. In most cases, the prosecution only charges someone with a crime when they believe that they have enough evidence to prove their care beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, if someone is charged with insurance fraud, the prosecution would generally need to be able to prove that the defendant willfully committed the fair and that they did so for their own financial gain.

White-collar crime is a broad category that can include everything from fraud and embezzlement to money laundering and government corruption, and what’s required is different in each case. If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime, talk to a defense attorney as soon as possible to find out what the prosecution will need to prove and what kind of evidence they may have gathered.

What Are the Potential Penalties If Convicted?

Just because white-collar crimes aren’t violent crimes doesn’t mean that the potential penalties are less severe. Those who are convicted of serious crimes like identity theft and tax evasion can still be sentenced to long prison terms, have to pay substantial fines and restitution and deal with long-lasting consequences in their professional and personal lives. For example, if you are convicted of money laundering, you could face up to 20 years in prison. You may also have to pay back twice the amount of money that was laundered or $500,000, whichever is greater.

White-collar crimes are often covered heavily by the local and even national media, and this can cause irreparable damage to your professional reputation in some cases. You could also lose your business or professional license and be forced to make a career change. It’s not uncommon for the strain of the investigation and trial to also cause issues with personal relationships, and many people convicted of white-collar crimes end up going through divorces as well.

Is White Collar Crime a State or Federal Offense?

Many white-collar crimes can be charged at the state or federal level, but it’s more common for white-collar crimes to be charged under federal law. In general, if the alleged crime only involved agencies within the state, it could be charged as a state crime. However, because most white-collar crimes deal with banks, the U.S. Postal Service, or other federal agencies, the majority end up in the federal courts.

Federal charges are especially serious because of the investigative agencies involved. The IRS and FBI have nearly limitless resources when it comes to investigating and prosecuting crime, and you need a strong, experienced attorney who isn’t afraid to go up against these legal teams.

What Tactics Do Investigators and Prosecutors Use?

It’s important to realize that because of the type of crime and the agencies involved, white-collar crimes often involve some of the strongest investigation and prosecution tactics. For example, these agencies use forensic accountants to identify discrepancies in financial accounts and bookkeeping, and they may do surveillance over the course of years to build enough evidence to bring charges.

It’s also common for the authorities to use those close to the person of interest to get more information. For example, if a business owner is suspected of tax fraud, the investigation may focus on identifying other employees with the business who may be aware of what’s going on or have access to records and trying to get them to cooperate with the authorities. This can even involve offering a deal to others who might also be prosecuted if they are willing to testify against the main target.

If you believe that you may be under investigation, you need to speak to an attorney even if there haven’t been formal charges yet. Working with a criminal defense attorney can ensure you understand what your rights are and how to protect yourself.

What Is Restitution

Restitution is a common component of sentencing when someone is convicted of a white-collar crime. It means that the person has to pay back the victim for any of the financial damages they incurred. For example, if someone is convicted of embezzling money from a business they work at, restitution would involve paying that money back to the business. How restitution must be paid depends on the case and what the judge orders. In some situations, the restitution is ordered to be paid immediately, but in others, the person may be able to make payments over time.

When you’re facing allegations of white-collar crime, the quality of your defense team can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Get more information on your options and potential legal strategies when you meet with the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. Call (210) 899-7566 to get started.