Forgery…embezzlement…fraud…misappropriation of assets…these types of crimes generally fall under the terminology of “white collar crimes,” offenses of opportunity typically committed by people who have been given access to funds or property because of their position in an organization. They are complex cases, often taking years to investigate. Here are some of the important things to know if you are under investigation for or have been charged with committing a white collar crime.
What Must the Prosecution Show to Obtain a Conviction on a White Collar Crime Charge?
As a general rule, white collar crimes require intent. You cannot commit a white collar crime through carelessness or negligence. Accordingly, the prosecution must show that your wrongful actions were intentional, knowledgeable or willful.
You can be charged and convicted of a white collar crime, even if you don’t successfully complete the scheme. You cannot be charged for thinking about embezzlement, fraud or forgery, or even for entertaining the idea with another person. However, if you take any identifiable steps toward putting a plan together or implementing that plan, you can be charged and you may be found guilty. You may not be charged for suggesting to a co-employee that you redirect profits into your personal bank account (although you might get fired for saying so), but if you falsify a company check to yourself, you can be charged, even if you don’t cash the check.
Defenses to White Collar Criminal Charges
There are a number of ways to challenge a white collar crime charge. Because it’s a crime that requires intent, that’s the first and most obvious defense. If you can show that you didn’t know you were doing anything wrong, that may be a defense.
Another effective defense, if it applies, is entrapment. This defense argues that law enforcement officers initiated the idea and used coercion, misrepresentation or undue influence to convince you to participate.
Contact Jack Venturi Law
Our team has the experience, skill, knowledge and resources to aggressively protect your rights. For a confidential consultation, contact us online or call us toll free at 866-339-7801. We represent clients throughout Middlesex County, Union County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Essex County and Somerset County.