Law enforcement and prosecutors in white collar cases often believe they are speaking up for the victim, so they will passionately be looking to punish an offender. You are entitled to the same level of zealous representation. As a skilled defense lawyer, Elliot Silver considers it a privilege to speak for those braving the criminal justice system. If you’re struggling with white collar criminal charges, Silver Law Firm will fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
From a full dismissal to reducing the impact to your life, start building your defense today and review all your options during a free and confidential consultation with attorney Silver. Call (510) 995-0000, or submit an online request today.
AMAZING LAWYER!!!!! My husband had some old business that needed to be taken care of. I did some research and decided to go for a consult with Elliot. We explained everything and he took our case… He went above the call of duty.”
White Collar Crimes in California
White collar criminal offenses cover a wide range of illegal activities. They typically involve intricate financial records and are investigated by the authorities for a long time before charges are filed, sometimes well before you realize you are a target. Once you become aware or even think you may be a suspect, you will need practical advice from a shrewd and meticulous attorney with a history of successfully defending similar cases.
Since many of these crimes drastically alter the victims’ futures, they are typically considered felonies. However, some white collar crimes may be wobblers, which can also be charged or punished as misdemeanors.
Some of the most common white collar crimes charged in California are:
- Fraud (Penal Code 484)
California has multiple fraud-related statutes, like credit and debit card fraud or check fraud. All fraud charges include an individual knowingly and willfully taking action to gain an undeserved benefit and to cause another person or business a loss. The specific fraud charge against you and potential punishments will depend on the instruments alleged to have been used to unlawfully obtain money, property, or services from others. Many of these charges are wobblers, which could be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances, the dollar amount alleged to have been lost by the victims, and your criminal history.
- Embezzlement (Penal Code 503)
The crime of embezzlement is a type of theft that describes obtaining money or property during a time when you were entrusted with that money or property. This offense is often perpetuated by employees who knowingly and unlawfully convert business funds to their own. However, embezzlement does not have to be from a business. You can also be accused of unlawfully appropriating money or property from someone you have a trusting relationship with, such as if you are a trustee or financial advisor for an individual. Embezzlement is charged like theft, meaning that based on the amount of money allegedly stolen, you could face a either misdemeanor or felony.
- Identity Theft (Penal Code 530.5)
You can be charged with identity theft if you possess, use, or transfer, or another person’s personal identifying information such as their Social Security Number, bank account and routing number, or PIN number for a debit or credit card. This is a wobbler offense, charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances.
- Forgery (Penal Code 470)
It is illegal to knowingly sign another individual’s or a fictitious person’s name with the intent to defraud and gain something of value. It is illegal to duplicate a person’s handwriting or to alter, corrupt, or falsify any legal document. It is also unlawful to create, possess, or try to pass a forged monetary instrument like a bill, cashier’s check, or money order. Forgery is a wobbler, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, punishable by either up to one year in jail or up to three years in prison.
- Money Laundering (Penal Code 186.10)
You will be charged with a crime if there is evidence that you took money that was obtained through illegal activity and put it through legitimate bank accounts or financial transactions to attempt to cover up its source. Like most white collar crimes, this is a wobbler.
Potential Punishments and Collateral Consequences
If you are charged with a white collar crime, the specific statutory punishments will depend on the offense, whether any aggravating factors are present, and your criminal history. If this is a first-time offense, we can fight for the minimum charge and punishment upon conviction, including as little jail time as possible. However, if this is a subsequent criminal offense, you can expect a more extreme charge and punishment. A defense attorney with extensive experience negotiating with prosecutors can get you the best plea deal possible if you’re facing a conviction.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you can be punished with up to 364 days in a local or county jail.
If you are convicted of a felony, you face time in prison. You can also be punished with fines, community service, restitution, probation, and more.
Additional consequences of a misdemeanor or felony conviction include:
- A permanent criminal record
- The loss of your voting rights while in prison
- The potential loss of your right to own firearms
- Difficulty obtaining a job or moving up at work
- Difficulty getting approved for rental housing
- Difficulty obtaining grants and scholarships for school
- Ineligibility for obtaining certain professional licenses
- Denial of a visa, visa renewal, permanent residency, or citizenship
- Modifications to your child custody or visitation schedule
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Silver Law Firm today.
Defending Against White Collar Crimes
Being charged with a white collar crime can make you and everyone around you feel dejected, even hopeless. There are probably people in your life that depend on you, so for their sake, it will be important to remain optimistic and seek out one of the numerous defense options for your situation. This will probably require pouring over volumes of documents, financial records, or corporate communications. At Silver Law Firm, we will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine the strongest defense available under the law.
Most white collar crimes depend on your intent to defraud. Depending on your situation and the evidence, we may argue that you lacked the requisite intent to commit the crime. For example, if your employer engaged in sloppy bookkeeping and you simply made the most recent transaction, you should not be held culpable for embezzlement. Without enough evidence of intent, you cannot be convicted.
You may have been falsely accused or caught up in a misunderstanding. If the police made a mistake in identifying you as the culprit and someone else actually committed the crime, we will strive to prove this in court. For instance, if you were handed a check as payment for your services without any prior knowledge that it was altered or forged, we will work to demonstrate the prosecutor’s lack of direct evidence against you and offer evidence that someone else actually forged the financial instrument in question.
Contact Our Oakland White Collar Crime Attorneys Today
White collar crimes are among the most intricate and paper-intensive cases handled by law enforcement and prosecutors alike. It is easy to be mired in the details of an identity theft perpetrated online or frustrated by financial terminology and laws of which you have never heard. With so much involved, the chances for error are exponentially higher than in other criminal cases. You should not suffer the ill-effects of a conviction because decimal points were misplaced on a spreadsheet or there was a misunderstanding about who had authorization on a credit card.
From the minute you know that you are being investigated for a white collar crime or if you have already been arrested and formally charged, contact an experienced and extremely detailed criminal defense lawyer. With a methodical approach to every case and a natural ability to keep you informed along the way, attorney Elliot Silver will be prepared for any hurdle you may encounter. Attorney Silver knows your professional reputation and your liberty is on the line when white-collar crimes charges are being thrown around. We take defending you against these accusations seriously and will devote all the time and energy that you deserve.
To learn more about how Silver Law Firm can help, contact us online or call (510) 995-0000 today.