White-collar crimes are different than most other criminal charges, as the offenses involve conduct in the course of business. White-collar crime is viewed as doing a great deal of harm to our society. Such cases can lead to extreme financial losses to a business, as well as a loss of confidence in various institutions or markets depending on the nature of the accusation. Depending on the nature of the offense, you may find yourself charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or you could find yourself prosecuted in federal court. It is important to understand that prosecutors will vigorously pursue such matters, and judges will often show little leniency to one who has been convicted.
It is, therefore, important that you retain the help of a Roanoke criminal defense attorney /criminal-defense/ at Lugar Law PC who has experience in such matters. To schedule a free consultation of your case with a white-collar crimes lawyer, contact us today at (540) 384-0348.
Common White-Collar Offenses
?There are many types of offenses that are considered ?white-collar? in nature. Depending on the conduct involved, you could find themselves charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or with a federal offense. Common examples of such cases include:
It is increasingly difficult to watch the news without hearing about the latest high-profile ?hack.? While large-scale cybercrimes are regularly featured in the media, the fact of the matter is that smaller-scale offenses are regularly prosecuted in state and federal court. Depending on the nature of the conduct, Virginia defendants may find themselves facing state or federal charges. Such cases can involve complicated search and seizure issues, and may also require the use of expert witnesses.
The Virginia Computer Crimes Act makes it illegal to use a computer or electronic equipment for certain activities. Under Virginia Code 18.2-152.1, et seq., it is a crime to engage in the following:
- Computer fraud
- Computer trespass
- Using a computer to invade another?s privacy
- Phishing or stealing personally identifying information
- Stealing computer services
- Harassing someone via an electronic medium
- Engaging in spamming activities
Depending on the nature of the offense, and the amount of financial damage involved, you might find yourself charged with a misdemeanor, felony, or a federal offense. The penalties for such charges can range from 12 months in jail to 20 years in prison. This is in addition to potentially paying fines and having a permanent criminal record.
Our society does not accept the betrayal of another?s trust when such actions involve monetary or property conversion. Such a betrayal is what happens when one commits the crime of embezzlement. This conduct can result in serious criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, you may find yourself facing misdemeanor, felony, or federal charges. A conviction can mean incarceration, a permanent criminal record, and potential disqualification from employment.
Embezzlement occurs when one misappropriates money or property that was entrusted to them by another. This can happen between private individuals or in a business setting. The nature of the charges will depend on the value and type of property involved. Under Virginia law, an individual who misappropriates money or property with a value of less than $500 will be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. This carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, and fines reaching $2,500. If the money or property had a value greater than $500, or was a firearm of any value, then you face up to 20 years in prison. If the offense involved theft across state lines, then you might face federal criminal charges.
Offenses Involving Bad Checks
?Many think that bouncing a check is a private matter between two parties. The fact of the matter, however, is that having a check returned for insufficient funds can possibly lead to criminal charges. If it is shown that the check was written with an intent to defraud, then a defendant may find themselves facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. A conviction can result in time in jail or prison, fines, the requirement of paying restitution, and possibly the inability to gain professional licenses.
If the check is written with the knowledge that there are insufficient funds in the account, and with the intent to defraud the deceiving party, then you might face larceny charges. If the check was for an amount of $200 or more, then you will be charged with a class 6 felony. Such charges carry a potential sentence of up to 5 years in prison. If the amount of the check was less than $200, then you will be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor and face a sentence of up to 12 months in jail. These potential sentences are penalties which may be imposed on top of fines, a permanent criminal record, and the requirement to pay restitution to the victim.?
Lugar Law PC also assists clients facing charges for:
- Money Laundering
- Identity Theft
- Wire Fraud
What Can I Expect After Getting Charged With a White-Collar Offense??
Penalties for white-collar crime convictions range from class 1 misdemeanors to felonies with a 40-year prison sentence in the Virginia state court system.
How a white-collar case begins depends on the nature of your alleged offense. If you are charged with a felony, then you will be arraigned after an indictment has been issued or a preliminary hearing has been held. You will enter a ?not guilty? plea, and your trial date will be set.
Such cases often hinge on the admission of financial records, information obtained from a computer, or information obtained from a phone. If law enforcement violated your rights while collecting such information, then it may be possible to gain a dismissal of the charges. If a dismissal is not obtained, then the matter must be resolved either through negotiations or through trial. If the matter goes to trial, then it is the prosecution?s burden to prove that the offense occurred, and that you intentionally committed an illegal act.
Contact a Roanoke, VA White-Collar Crimes Attorney for Help
Attorney Cerid Lugar understands the impact that a white-collar conviction can have on your future. This is why she strives to provide thorough communication and an aggressive defense to her clients. This includes regularly responding to messages and answering any questions you may have. To schedule a free and confidential case consultation, contact Lugar Law PC today at (540) 384-0348.