White Collar Criminal Defense | Call a New York White Collar Criminal Lawyer
Many individuals have the misconception that white collar crimes are not crimes at all or have insignificant penalties. However, this belief could not be further from the truth. White collar crimes are very serious crimes and conviction for a white collar crime could carry criminal penalties including long prison sentences and significant monetary fines.
As a result, if you have been charged with a white collar crime, it is important that you work with a New York white collar criminal lawyer. The facts and circumstances regarding white collar crimes can be very complicated. You will not want an inexperienced criminal defense attorney representing your case. Instead, you will want an attorney like Frederick L. Sosinsky on your side who has had over 27 years’ experience representing individuals and businesses who have been charged with crimes or investigated at the state and federal levels.
Definition of a White Collar Crime
White collar crimes refer to a wide variety of crimes that typically do not involve force or the threat of force, advises a New York white collar criminal lawyer. This body of crimes is described as white collar crimes because many perpetrators are in professional positions such as business people, doctors, lawyers, bankers and even politicians. However, you do not need to be a white collar professional to be charged with the crime.
In New York, the Attorney General’s Office has a renewed focus on tamping down white collar crimes. In recent years, government investigations have increased as well as other enforcement actions. Officials have expanded the scope of investigations and more and more individuals (including many innocent parties) have been the target of investigations and criminal charges.
A New York white collar criminal lawyer will say that most white collar crimes involve some type of fraud that is used for an unlawful financial gain. Types of fraud can include concealment, deceit and other violations of trust. Common types of white collar crime can include:
- Identity Theft and Computer Crimes
- Bank Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Insider Trading
- Credit Card Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Tax Fraud
- Government Benefit Fraud
Individuals Who May Be Charged With White Collar Crimes
Anyone may be charged with a white collar crime. The crime does not just cover individuals in certain occupations. Instead, white collar crime just generally refers to a type of crime that does not involve physical violence. In addition, businesses may also be charged with the crime, a New York white collar criminal lawyer says.
Elements of White Collar Crimes
To convict someone of a white collar crime, prosecutors will generally have to show certain elements. While the exact elements will depend upon the specific charge, the following elements are generally present in most white collar cases:
- Intent. Prosecutors typically have to prove that the defendant had the mind state to engage in the crime. This would involve proving that the defendant had the knowledge that he was committing the crime and the intent to do so. As a result, reasonable mistakes and errors may not be enough to support a criminal charge.
- Act Toward Commission of the Crime. The defendant must take some act toward the furtherance of the crime. The action can be almost anything such as coming up with the plan of action or breaking into a computer.
- Harm. In some cases, the government will have to show that someone was harmed as a result of the crime. So even if an act of fraud was committed, the alleged white collar crime may not result in a conviction if no one was harmed. However, the definition of harm may be interpreted quite broadly and include more than strictly financial harm such as harm to someone’s reputation. You will want to consult with an attorney to learn if actual harm is an element of the charges you face.
Penalties for White Collar Crime
There is a common misconception that individuals convicted of white collar crimes are given easy sentences or are sent to “country-club” penitentiaries. However, if convicted, a person could face the same criminal penalties as many others convicted of more violent crimes. Individuals could serve hard time and face multiple years behind bars for white collar crimes. In addition, someone convicted of this crime typically also faces:
- Monetary Fines and Restitution. A distinguishing feature of most white collar crimes is that the defendant will be ordered to repay the financial loss that he or she has caused. The defendant may be ordered to pay it back all at once or may be forced to pay it back over a period of time. In addition to restitution, the defendant may owe monetary fines and face civil penalties.
- Home Detention. Following a prison sentence or in place of prison, a convict may face house arrest. Home detention is typically only available in special circumstances.
- Community Service. Community service is a penalty frequently associated with white collar crimes. Someone convicted of the crime may have some special skill or power allowing them to pay back the community in other ways such as giving talks or mentoring.
Representation in Professional Discipline and Licensing Matters
Along with representing white collar professionals in criminal cases, New York white collar criminal lawyer Frederick L. Sosinsky also has extensive experience representing licensed professionals in administrative investigations and proceedings. These are typically brought by the New York State Office of Professional Discipline, Office of Medical Conduct or New York State Education Department, depending upon the relevant profession.
Contact a New York White Collar Criminal Lawyer
If you have been charged with a white collar crime, you will want experienced counsel on your side. To discuss the specific facts of your case and learn your best options, schedule a free consultation with New York white collar criminal attorney Frederick L. Sosinsky by calling (212) 285-2270.