What are Common Defense Strategies for White Collar Crimes?
Being convicted of a white-collar crime can have serious implications on your life. If you’ve been scrutinized for or charged with a white-collar crime such as tax evasion, fraud, or money laundering, do you know that the consequence of being charged with these crimes could bring the possibility of jail or prison time?
The term white-collar crime is generally associated with frauds that are usually committed by insurance companies, federal organizations, government professionals, commercial businesses, or individuals who unlawfully use deception for financial gain. Although these crimes are non-violent, the penalties at stake are severe. However, it can take months, even years for investigators like the FBI to gather enough evidence to build a strong case against an individual or company.
In the interim, you should find an experienced defense attorney to help you come up with the best plan of action to rebuttal the charges against you. The following information will highlight the most common defense strategies that can be used to acquit you.
Were You Forced to Commit the Crime?
If you were unwilling to commit a crime that you were induced to do, this is known as entrapment or affirmative defense. Entrapment occurs when an individual introduces and pressures you to commit an unlawful act that you wouldn’t normally carry out.
To prove entrapment, you must have enough evidence showing that you were threatened, intimidated, or forced to do something against the law and if you didn’t, you or someone close to you would be put in harm’s way. As well, the condition under which you were threatened must be greater than the criminality performed.
If your attorney can help prove that you were forced to participate in illegal activity under duress, it is possible that a judge will overturn your case. However, if this illegal activity violates any federal laws, the court may consider charging you with a federal crime, in which they would have to refer to the federal sentencing guidelines to determine an appropriate sentence.
In this case, it would be best for a lawyer to assist you in building a file of your previous criminal record, if any, this way you could negotiate a reduced sentence based on the type of crime you committed.
Did You Have No Intention of Committing the Crime?
For the prosecution to prove their case, they must show that you intentionally committed a crime. While prosecutors are extremely skilled in outlining the crime that was committed and why it should be subject to harsh penalties, oftentimes, they struggle to show that the person who executed these acts had a substantial purpose or goal to deceive someone or something.
Whether the crime was embezzlement or falsifying tax records, intent plays a key element in being found guilty of a white-collar offense. In order to be found guilty in the eyes of the law, prosecutors must show that you attempted to:
- Commit the crime
- Conceal the crime
- Further the crime
Another possible defense strategy would be to plead insanity. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re insane, but it could mean that mental illness prevented you from distinguishing right from wrong. Therefore, even if you did have the intent to commit a crime, you failed to comprehend that the crime was illicit due to a mental disorder.
How Can Poking Holes in the Prosecution’s Argument Help You?
A case built against white-collar crimes is likely to contain numerous pieces of information that can overwhelm the jury and the judge. Since these types of crimes involve money, bank transactions, and multiple people, the evidence involved can be lengthy to sort through and challenging to understand.
This would be a good time to include a defense strategy to poke holes in the prosecution’s argument by cross-examining witnesses or bringing out simple errors in their testimony. Some issues that your defensive team could utilize when trying to undermine the credibility of the prosecution’s argument include:
- Witness bias against the defendant
- Witness cuts a deal to expose defendant for no charges on their record
- Witnesses story is not believable
- Evidence presented is faulty
Did You Have No Knowledge of Criminal Activity?
Fraudulent activity that happens within organizations certainly involves multiple parties. It could be possible that you had no knowledge of the criminal activity that occurred, which is known as an ignorance defense.
An ignorance defense can be made by showing that you lacked the capacity to be aware of such criminal acts. Seeing that most white-collar crimes are executed by intellectual business associates who have a greater mental understanding of the complexion of their apparent crimes, it may be worthwhile to show that you were not equipped to understand such actions.
What is a Plea Bargain?
If you’re facing extreme punishment, you may consider admitting guilt in exchange for a reduced sentence. This is known as a plea bargain, which assures the prosecution that some sort of conviction is held against the defendant.
This decision is difficult to make alone. If you don’t understand the stake of the criminal charges against you, you may feel compelled to accept a plea that’s offered because you will have some sort of certainty on what your life’s going to look like. This is why it’s important to be aware of the possibility of winning your case, which a top-rated defense attorney can help you do.
Hire an Experienced Orlando Defense Attorney to Protect You
If you are being charged with a white-collar crime or recently discovered that an investigation is being performed on your possible involvement, it is imperative that you consult an experienced defense attorney in Orlando. The Umansky Law Firm can investigate your case and determine the most effective defense strategies based on your situation and the charges that you face.
The Umansky Law Firm defense lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience in criminal law. Contact Umansky and his team to defend you against your alleged white-collar offense at any time. Call our office or complete an online contact form for a free consultation.