In Port Charlotte, Florida, a white-collar crime is typically considered to be a nonviolent crime carried out in order to achieve financial gain. Although nonviolent, white-collar crimes are still taken extremely seriously in Port Charlotte and the State of Florida and can be punished at either a state or federal level.
The punishments incurred for a white-collar crime are likely to negatively impact your life in more ways than one. Punishments can include hefty fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record. If you have been accused or charged with a white-collar crime, then we highly recommend that you seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney as soon as you possibly can.
At The Law Place, we have a team of highly skilled lawyers with an abundance of collective experience in dealing with white-collar crimes and defending the accused. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help guide you through the legal process and build a strong defense strategy that can be used to contest the penalties and charges you may be facing.
Get in touch with our law firm today and receive a free consultation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. At this free consultation, a lawyer will be able to answer all your questions and offer valuable no-obligation legal advice on the next best steps to take with your case.
Our Port Charlotte phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we are here to offer support and guidance at any time of day. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and get started with your case.
How Is a White-Collar Crime Defined?
As noted in Florida Statute 775.0844, a white-collar crime can be defined as a financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. These crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or the violation of trust and are not dependent on the threat or act of physical force or violence. The motivation behind white-collar crimes is purely financial. They are carried out to obtain or avoid losing money, services, or property. White-collar crimes may also be committed in order to secure a personal or business advantage.
White-collar crimes constitute a plethora of illegal acts. An example of a white-collar crime could be if a cashier or bartender puts cash into their pockets whilst at work, rather than into the till. This is known as cash skimming, which is the most common form of embezzlement.
Many white-collar crimes are difficult to prosecute because the perpetrators work in sophisticated ways to conceal their illegitimate activities. This means that whistleblowers are especially helpful for prosecutors as they report wrongdoing. A whistleblower can be defined as a person, usually an employee, who exposes information or activity that is deemed illegal or illicit. Whistleblowers often relay information to law enforcement or government organizations.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more commonly known as the FBI, there has been a steady increase in whistleblowing claims in recent years. In 2015 alone, there were 3,923 whistleblowing tips reporting corruption, fraud, and other white-collar crimes.
Types of White-Collar Crimes in Port Charlotte
Common examples of white-collar crimes include:
- Fraud – This is applicable to a range of things, including credit cards, insurance, mail, healthcare, and corporate fraud. Fraud involves the deliberate act of providing false information as a way to gain money and other valuable assets.
- Embezzlement – This is committed when a trusted person, usually an employee, uses their authoritative position to misappropriate funds and unlawfully convert them for his or her own personal use.
- Identity theft – Identity theft occurs when someone else assumes your identity to perform a criminal act.
- Money laundering – This is the process by which a person conceals or disguises their proceeds and makes them appear to have come from legitimate sources.
- Racketeering – This is an organized activity where a criminal act forms a substantial part of the business.
- Bribery – This is the offering or soliciting of an item of value, which is used to influence the actions of another person.
- Forgery or counterfeiting – Both of these crimes involve the altering or copying of items with the intent to defraud.
Other less common white-collar crimes can include passing bad checks, computer-related crimes, extortion, tax evasion, dealing in stolen property on the internet, and intellectual property theft, which is more commonly known as piracy.
No matter the crime you may be facing, here at The Law Place, we are here to support you in whatever way we can. We have a team of knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers who can support you through the legal process and help to reduce or eliminate the charges you may be facing. Call us today and receive some free, no-obligation legal advice from a skilled attorney.
What Are the Potential Penalties and Repercussions for Committing White-Collar Crimes?
The penalties incurred for committing a white-collar crime can vary greatly according to a variety of factors. These factors include the type of white-collar crime that was committed and the amount of money that was involved. Generally speaking, a white-collar crime prosecuted at the state level will have more lenient punishments in comparison to the federal court. Having said this, punishments at the state level are still very serious and can have life-changing consequences. A white-collar crime can be sentenced in any of the following ways:
- Second-degree misdemeanors – The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor can include a maximum fine of $500 and up to sixty days in jail.
- First-degree misdemeanors – This charge can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year behind bars.
- Third-degree felonies – If charged with a third-degree felony, you may face up to $5,000 payable in fines and up to five years in state prison.
- Second-degree felonies – The penalties for a second-degree felony can result in up to $10,000 payable in fines and up to fifteen years in state prison.
- First-degree felonies – This is the most serious classification that you may receive as a result of committing a white-collar crime. The penalties for a first-degree felony can include a maximum fine of $10,000 as well as up to thirty years in state prison.
If the individual facing charges has previously been convicted or charged with a white-collar offense or has a prior criminal record, then it is likely that the penalties with increase further.
Additional Consequences of a White-Collar Crime Conviction
In addition to fines and jail time, it is also likely that you will receive a permanent criminal record as a result of the crime you have committed. A criminal record can have life-changing ramifications that may negatively impact your life in more ways than one. These may include:
- Difficulty in continuing education.
- Difficulty in applying for different types of finance, such as loans and overdrafts.
- Difficulty seeking certain licenses.
- Difficulty finding employment. Many job roles won’t accept a candidate who has a prior criminal record.
- Difficulty seeking visitation or custody rights to see your children.
- Difficulty in applying for mortgages or rent agreements.
Many of these consequences are long-lasting and have the ability to impact your future. At The Law Place, we have a team of knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers that have an abundance of experience in defending the accused. A criminal defense lawyer can work to develop a strong defense strategy that can be used to reduce or even eliminate the charges that you may be facing. Call us today to get started with your case.
Possible Defences Against a White-Collar Crime in Port Charlotte
It is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty in the State of Florida. Generally speaking, white-collar crimes require a huge amount of paperwork and evidence in order for the prosecution to gain a successful conviction. In order to be convicted of a white-collar crime, the prosecution must prove to the jury certain aspects beyond a reasonable doubt. This may include:
- That you willfully or purposefully committed the crime you have been charged for.
- That you acted with the knowledge that you knew that what you were doing was unlawful.
- That you concealed your criminal acts with the purpose of not getting caught.
A skilled criminal defense attorney will analyze your case and investigate any evidence being used against you. They will work to build a strong defense strategy that can be used against the prosecution.
Contact The Law Place in Port Charlotte Today!
If you have been accused or convicted of a white-collar crime in Port Charlotte, then you should get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Place, we have a team of highly skilled criminal defense lawyers who have the necessary skills to defend the accused and reduce the penalties and punishments that you may be facing.
At our law firm, we offer all of our customers a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers. At this initial consultation, we will assess your case and offer some valuable no-obligation legal advice on the best way to proceed. If you then wish to proceed with your case at The Law Place, we will organize a second consultation where your lawyer will go into much more detail about your case and work to develop a strong defense strategy that can be used against the prosecution.
Our criminal defense lawyers understand how frightening and daunting facing criminal charges can be, which is why we pride ourselves on developing professional attorney-client relationships built on trust and honesty. We will guide you through the legal process and ensure it is as stress-free as possible for you.
Our phone lines are open around the clock, so you can call The Law Place at any time of day. So, rest assured, a criminal defense attorney will be able to offer you support and legal advice when you need it most. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and get started with your case.