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What to Expect From White Collar Criminal Cases and Defense

Due to the fact that white collar convictions often carry severe consequences like fines and jail time, it’s important that if you have been accused of a white collar crime you know the best way to respond. The following information is what to expect from a white collar charge and how defending a white collar charge differs from other criminal cases.

To learn more about white collar charges or to discuss the specifics or your charge, schedule a free consultation with a Maryland Federal criminal lawyer today.

What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove in a White Collar Case?

The prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the act that they are alleging actually occurred. There is often an intent requirement associated with White Collar cases. This means if somebody didn’t knowingly or intentionally break the laws, there may not be enough information for a conviction. There isn’t any strict liability in White Collar cases the way there would be in statutory rape situations or other kinds of situations involving minors. White Collar cases do have a “mens rea” requirement so the prosecution often has to prove not only that the act occurred but that it was an intentional act on the part of the individual being accused.

How is Defending a White Collar Crime Different From Other Crimes?

In White Collar Cases, the prosecutor’s job is to try and present evidence that is used to make it look more likely that the person actually committed the crime. From the defense’s perspective, our investigation involves trying to demonstrate the opposite.

So whether the evidence is insufficient,  tends to prove that the crime never happened, or whether it tends to prove that somebody else committed the crime as opposed to my client are all factors that I would take in to consideration when conducting an investigation in this kind of case.

I work with investigators that are not only former police detectives but often people who have had experience with the particular organizations that are alleging fraud. Whether it is the banking industry or the stock industry, my investigator might be able to explain how something that perhaps was a mistake or a clerical error could negate the intent that a prosecutor is trying to prove in a criminal courtroom. So the investigation is very different when it comes to the defense’s side because our role is to try and prove things that are different from what the prosecution is trying to show.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About White Collar Criminal Offenses?

I think the most common misconception about White Collar Criminal offenses is that they always involve some major scheme that we hear about on TV when somebody is arrested. White Collar Criminal offenses can be things that are $100 in value all the way up to thefts of infinite amounts of money.

Another common misconception that people have is that White Collar Criminal offenses are not serious because they don’t involve somebody getting physically hurt. White Collar Cases often involve victims, whether it is a big bank, a bank customer, or somebody that is impacted by the actual White Collar Criminal Act. The courts see that White Collar cases are not victimless crimes. They treat these cases very seriously.