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Stakes can be high in conviction of white collar crime

In a post earlier this year, we waded into the complicated legal web involving white collar crime. As we noted in that entry, possible charges are wide ranging. Indeed, we really only touched on a few of the possibilities.

If you break out the list of allegations, it becomes apparent that the government is taking a much harder line than used to be the case. Complaints that might have once been handled strictly through regulatory agencies or administrative action now result in criminal prosecutions. And when convictions are obtained, penalties can be considerable.

The low end of the punishment scale might involve a fine, which might seem small. But there are cases in which the fines have been significant. Nor can the possibility of a prison term be ruled out.

In addition, a conviction on any one of the many charges for fraud could result in a defendant having to divest himself or herself of assets and to make restitution to victi

From a criminal defense perspective, one thing that tends to set white collar issues apart from other crimes is that they are labor intensive. That is, if authorities have reason to suspect a person of committing fraud or other money-motivated, nonviolent crime, it takes a lot of time and effort to investigate and assemble evidence before charges are filed.

The sooner an experienced attorney enters the picture, the more likely it is that issues can be identified in the investigative phase. And swift defensive action could lead to less severe charges being brought, or the possibility of no charges being filed at all.

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