The term “white collar crime” is more of a widely acknowledged phrase given to the classification of crime than an actual legal definition. White collar crimes are inherently nonviolent crimes and involve either fraud or dishonesty. The nature of these crimes is financial as opposed to more “violent” crimes such as assault and battery.
Although the phrase itself might lend to the idea that these crimes are not as severe, white collar crimes are actually considered to be serious crimes in Florida and across the United States. These crimes are being prosecuted more often than before, especially as the number of white collar crimes continues to increase across the United States.
Types of White Collar Crimes
Florida enacted the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act in order to combat repeat white collar crime. The Act intends to protect vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, from becoming the victims of white collar crimes. The Act allows for harsher punishment and greater restitution for those found guilty of committing white collar crimes.
Florida is a popular state for retirees. The elderly population, however, is a common target for white collar criminals. These criminals use complex strategies in order to steal the identities and financial assets of unsuspecting retirees.
Other examples of white collar crimes include:
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Insider trading
Despite the crimes’ complexities, anyone can be charged with the attempt to commit a white collar crime. While white collar crimes occur more often in corporate settings, their commission is not exclusive to such a setting.
Embezzlement is, perhaps, the most well known white collar crime. Embezzlement occurs whenever an individual abuses his or her position of trust and misappropriates another’s money or property. Although stories regarding embezzlement tend to involve corporate executives and public official, embezzlement can be committed by any individual in a position of trust. This may include an accountant or even a secretary.
Defending White Collar Crimes
Individuals charged with committing a white collar crime do not forfeit their rights or legal defenses. The Constitutions of both the United States and the State of Florida guarantee the criminal defendants the right to legal counsel. While the general public may believe white collar crimes to be reprehensible and not deserving of legal counsel, a defendant’s right to legal counsel should not be denied.
A prosecutor must always demonstrate that the defendant committed each element of the white collar crime. If a prosecutor cannot prove that the defendant committed each element of the crime, the defendant cannot be found guilty. A defendant may raise any available legal defenses in order to negate one or several elements of the white collar crime with which he or she is charged.
Impact of White Collar Crime Convictions
White collar crimes convictions can have a negative impact on an individual’s professional and personal relationships. A conviction can keep an individual from employment opportunities, it may have a lasting financial impact, and even ruin relationships with family and friends.
Contact a St. Petersburg White Collar Crime Attorney Today
If you are facing white collar criminal charges, the defense attorneys at Khonsani Law Group can help. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys will review the details of your case and work tirelessly on your behalf. Call us at (727) 269-5300 or write us online today to schedule a free consultation.