Were you recently charged with a white-collar crime? You could face serious consequences, such as jail time and hefty fines. The experienced white-collar crimes attorney in Ventura, CA from David Lehr Law can assist you in presenting the best possible defense. Contact our law firm today.
We have years of criminal defense experience, won numerous cases, and successfully defended many cases at trial. We’re eager to put our experience to work for you right now. We provide a free consultation to go over the details of your case. To get started, call our criminal defense law office or contact us online.
Why Do I Need a White Collar Crimes Attorney in California?
You are a professional. Being charged with a white-collar crime does not simply imply that you face jail time or fines. Your career and reputation could be ruined if you are convicted. Our skilled California white-collar crimes attorney understands how serious allegations of white-collar crime can be.
We will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case, frequently enlisting the assistance of skilled investigators such as ex-IRS agents, FBI agents, ex-postal investigators, and former California prosecutors.
Contact our professional Ventura white-collar crime lawyer at David Lehr Law today for any of your white-collar defense needs.
What is Considered a “White-collar Crime”?
In general, the term “white-collar crime” refers to non-violent offenses committed by “white-collar” workers, particularly those in finance. White-collar crime is commonly thought of as a monetary loss offense. This could be a company, someone’s personal finances, or even local, state, and federal governments.
Although white-collar crime can take many forms, the following are some of the most common:
Bribery is one of California’s most commonly prosecuted white-collar crimes. When someone illegally gives another person something of value, such as money or services, in exchange for that person changing their opinion or providing an item they would not have given without the bribe, the crime is committed. Bribery can be charged against both the person who gives the item and the person who receives it.
Embezzlement has been on the rise in California over the last decade. It is committed when a person given the responsibility or permission to oversee another person’s property or money takes it for personal gain. This could include theft from a bank or an accounting firm.
As one might expect, computer crimes have increased significantly in recent years as technology has advanced. They can happen when someone uses a computer to connect to the internet to send a virus, hack into another person’s computer or network, or use another person’s computer without permission.
Extortion is a white-collar crime in California. The crime is committed by instilling fear or threatening violence in another person to obtain property. Extortion can occur whether or not there is violence or simply the threat of harm.
Fraud is committed when someone knowingly misrepresents a fact to gain an advantage for themselves or another person. People commit fraud when they falsify a statement or another object to obtain valuable goods or services.
Forgery is prosecuted by either the District Attorney or the United States Attorney. Forgery is committed when a person manipulates or creates a written object and then possesses or uses the object to commit fraud. A check, credit card, or other financial instruments can be used as the object.
Insurance fraud is quickly becoming the most common type of fraud in California. The white-collar offense is frequently committed by business professionals, lawyers, doctors, chiropractors, and others who file false claims for injuries or damages that never occurred. In these cases, the prosecutor’s goal is to show that the policyholder intended to defraud the insurance company to obtain funds to which they are not entitled.
Larceny crime has significantly increased throughout California. The crime is simply taking another person’s property or goods with the intent not to return them. Larceny can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the theft exceeds $400, it is considered a felony.
Perjury has only recently been labeled as a white-collar crime. The crime is committed when a person intentionally lies, either in writing or orally, while under oath. The oath can be taken either in court when the statement is sworn or in writing if the person is aware of the seriousness of the proceedings but still lies. Perjury is a felony in California, punishable by a three-year state prison sentence.
Tax Evasion or Tax Fraud
Tax evasion occurs when a person intentionally fails to claim a certain amount of income or property on their tax return. This white-collar offense may be prosecuted at either the state or federal level. If convicted, this crime will result in a lengthy prison sentence.
What Are the Different Factors in white-collar Crimes?
While each white-collar crime charge requires a unique strategy to avoid conviction, there are some common factors in these cases.
In law, “intent” means that a defendant did not have to successfully commit the crime, only desire to commit it and take steps to do so. For example, to convict a defendant of bank fraud, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to defraud a bank of money, assets, or property. Taking funds from a bank by mistake due to a filing error is not a crime because the defendant acted without intent.
A court will not convict a defendant for a white-collar crime based solely on intent. The defendant must have been capable of committing the crime and intending to commit it.
Fraud is the use of deception, trickery, or lies to falsely represent or falsely conceal certain facts. This can be done to obtain someone else’s property or to cause financial harm to another person. Most white-collar crimes involve fraud, particularly those involving contracts, legal agreements, and the sharing of financial information.
Can White-collar Crimes Be Prosecuted at the Federal Level?
White-collar crimes, by definition, involve a federal investigation. However, because California is aggressively prosecuting white-collar crime cases, you may also face state charges. Because white-collar crime cases are so complicated and expensive, state officials may look for any way to involve federal authorities.
The IRS typically investigates white-collar crimes that involve money laundering. The FBI is typically in charge of fraud investigations, but it may work with the IRS throughout the process. The agencies involved in the investigation will be determined by the type of crime you are accused of.
This is why you need our knowledgeable Ventura white-collar crimes attorney who understands how these agencies work.
What is Considered a Federal White-collar Crime?
When a white-collar crime crosses state lines and violates state law, it can be charged as a federal white-collar crime. Mail fraud, for example, can be charged as a federal white-collar crime if it involves the United States Postal Service, which is a federal service. Tax evasion is a federal crime because it involves the United States government.
Federal crimes carry severe penalties, such as hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. Furthermore, the federal government has a plethora of agencies and other resources to prosecute you. Our competent Ventura white-collar crimes attorney can help you build a defense if you are charged with a federal crime.
What Are the Possible White-collar Crime Penalties?
A white-collar crime conviction may result in the following penalties:
Some people consider white-collar crimes as “victimless” and less serious than violent or drug-related crimes. However, these crimes frequently involve a breach of trust by someone in a position of authority. As a result, the penalties for white-collar crimes are severe, and a conviction frequently results in a lengthy prison sentence.
For example, a conviction for mail and wire fraud can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. These cases are frequently the subject of intense media scrutiny. Aside from fines, other financial penalties, such as:
- Paying the prosecution’s costs
- Making reparations to the victims
- Giving up certain assets
A conviction for a white-collar crime can have long-term social consequences, particularly in finding work, in addition to the penalties imposed by a court. An offender’s professional license may be revoked or barred from working by the relevant professional association.
What Can Be the Possible Collateral Consequences of a White-collar Crime Conviction?
You may face additional consequences in addition to the penalties described above. Some examples of these collateral consequences are:
- Assets forfeiture
- Probation or parole
- Permanent criminal record
- Personal and professional harm to your reputation
Our skilled white-collar crimes attorney in Ventura, CA, can assist you. Call today for a no-obligation consultation.
What Are the Usual Defenses to White-collar Crimes in California?
The facts of their case will determine the defenses available to a defendant. However, there are common defenses that are frequently used in white-collar crime cases.
Absence of Intent
The prosecution must establish that the defendant intended to commit the crime to prove most white-collar crimes. If the defendant had no intention of engaging in illegal activity, they might be able to defend themselves.
When investigating white-collar crimes, law enforcement may set up an operation to try to apprehend suspects. While this investigative technique is legal, law enforcement cannot force someone to commit a crime. If they do, and the defendant would not have committed the act otherwise, the defendant may be able to claim entrapment.
A defendant may be able to use a duress offense if forced to commit a white-collar crime due to threats. Duress, also known as coercion, requires the defendant to demonstrate that they committed the act only because of an immediate and inescapable threat of bodily harm or death.
A defendant may argue incapacity if they lack the mental capacity to understand the criminal nature of their actions. However, this can be difficult to prove in white-collar cases involving sophisticated conduct by a defendant over a long period.
Call Our Ventura Criminal Defense Law Firm Today
At David Lehr Law, we understand that time is of the essence in white-collar crime cases. When your charges are filed, your reputation and livelihood are jeopardized. We can assist you in fighting for your reputation and livelihood, and we have a track record of achieving decisive victories for our clients.
Fill out the contact form or call us to speak with our reputable Ventura criminal defense attorney. We provide a free initial consultation to quickly begin working through the details of your case and crafting the best defense strategy possible.