Most criminal convictions that fall under the umbrella of white collar crime are penalized severely in Virginia, and a person who is charged with a crime should treat the allegation seriously whether true or not, and only proceed to court with proper representation. These cases are often grand in scope, and therefore it is likely they will be prosecuted at both the state and federal level.
It is important that your criminal defense lawyer be well versed in business law and have a proven record in combating associated charges. These court cases are subject to lengthy police and prosecutorial investigations, and defendants will need someone who can see their case through from start to finish.
What Is A White Collar Crime?
Although many people probably think of wealthy business executives or stockbrokers when they imagine white collar criminal activity, the truth is that anyone can be charged with these crimes. White collar crime is often described as any type of criminal activity during which an individual deceives another individual or business in order to achieve financial gain. These crimes range from the simple to the painstakingly complex. They include:
- Fraud. Most white collar crimes can be considered a type of fraud, which is the misrepresentation of fact in exchange for a benefit.
- Forgery. This occurs when an individual reproduces a copy of a signature, legal document, banknote, etc.
- Embezzlement. This occurs when an individual steals in such a way as to convert the ownership of property, goods, or other assets (usually from a business).
- Identity Theft. When an individual steals personal information (such as banking information or social security numbers) from someone else in order to misuse it for personal gain.
- Copyright Infringement. This crime occurs when protected works are stolen or used without the owner’s authorization, potentially causing financial damage to the rightful owner.
What Are The Penalties For White Collar Crimes In Fairfax, Virginia?
Most fraud-related crimes are Class 1 misdemeanors. If the monetary value of the stolen assets amounts to less than $200, then the defendant will likely be charged with petit larceny. This crime is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines. Grand larceny occurs when the stolen assets amount to greater than $200. This crime is punishable by one to 20 years imprisonment.
If an individual commits fraud by issuing a bad check, the penalties are different. If the bad check has a value of greater than $200, then the defendant will likely be charged with a Class 6 felony, the punishment for which is one to five years imprisonment.
An individual charged with designing or using a forgery may be charged with a Class 4 felony, the punishment for which is two to ten years imprisonment and up to $100,000 in fines.
An individual charged with embezzlement is subject to the same legal penalties as fraud because it is a type of larceny.
This crime is unique in that its penalties are determined by the intent of the defendant. There are a number of possibilities. Did the defendant steal information in order to interfere with a criminal investigation? If this is the case, the defendant is guilty of a Class 5 penalty, the punishment for which is one to ten years imprisonment.
Did the defendant steal information for personal use? If the financial damage amounts to less than $200, then the defendant is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, the punishment for which is up to one-year imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines. If the damage amounts to more than $200, then the defendant is guilty of a Class 6 felony, the penalty for which is one to five years imprisonment.
Did the defendant steal information from more than five people in order to sell it? If this is the case, the defendant will likely be charged with a Class 5 felony, the punishment for which is one to ten years imprisonment. If the information was acquired from 50 or more people, then the defendant will likely be charged with a Class 4 felony, the punishment for which is two to ten years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
The defendant must have willingly committed copyright infringement in order to be subject to criminal penalties, which are extremely harsh. A defendant may be punished with up to five years imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines for each separate offense.
How Can A Fairfax While Collar Crime Lawyer Help Defend You?
Because many of the criminal penalties for white collar crimes are determined by a defendant’s intent, a criminal defense lawyer may work with you to prove there was no intention to cause financial harm.
In many cases, the prosecution lacks the evidence it needs to guarantee a guilty verdict. In other cases, defendants are charged for fraud after making statements that can sometimes be considered non-fraudulent because the basis for the theft relied on opinion instead of fact.
It is always important to acquire the expertise of a qualified criminal defense attorney in order to determine how likely a case will be successfully prosecuted. White collar crimes are difficult if not impossible to defend without knowledge of the law, and defendants should never waive their right to legal counsel.
Call A Fairfax White Collar Crime Attorney Now!
An experienced Fairfax criminal defense attorney is ready to discuss the details of your case, including what defense might be used and what kind of penalties you might incur if convicted of a crime. Our Fairfax, VA Law Firm has a proven track record of success in defending cases of white collar crime. Contact us for a free consultation today!