White collar crimes happen more frequently than people may think. Many people may not think white collar crimes are very serious, perhaps due to their nonviolent nature, but the law treats them as serious criminal offenses.
For those who may be facing such charges, it is important to understand what all they entail.
Being accused of white collar crimes can lead to a person facing a lot of legal proceedings. First, of course, there are the criminal charges that often come with such allegations. White collar crime suspects could also find themselves facing civil claims from the alleged victims. The government may also file an asset forfeiture case.
White collar crime covers a large variety of activities, most of which also fall under the scope of fraudulent acts. Some common white collar crimes include the following:
- Credit card fraud
- Investment fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Tax fraud
Most acts that involve dishonest tactics to gain the funds of other people without their permission are white collar crimes.
Because of the broad range of offenses, the penalties for conviction on the different white collar charges vary widely. There are sentencing guidelines that the courts may use, but the judge still has quite a bit of discretion and may choose to be lenient. Sometimes, judges fare on the lower end of the spectrum in regard to penalties. However, in certain cases where the fraudulent acts affect a large number of people or result in a large amount of illegal funds, the punishment may be more severe, including significant jail time and particularly hefty fines.
This basic overview of white collar criminal charges is general in nature. For further detail or to discuss a case, it is a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.