Maryland White Collar Crimes Lawyer
The term “white collar crime” is kind of a term of art that essentially refers to acts of nonviolent crime, such as fraud or embezzlement. Other examples of white collar crime could be identity theft, theft from an employer, or fraud that violates federal law regarding securities and commodities. In this way, white collar crime may be committed against a person, a business, or a government.
Due to the serious penalties that can result from a white collar crime in Maryland, it is crucial that a person charged with this type of crime contacts a Maryland criminal lawyer. A Maryland white collar crimes lawyer can use their experience and knowledge to build a defense to combat the consequences a person may face.
Types of Crimes
One example of white collar crime that could occur on multiple levels is embezzlement, which could be committed against the state or an employer. Embezzlement involves the taking of property from another person or entity but is distinguished from basic theft because, in embezzlement, the defendant often is in some sort of position of trust. That is, the defendant is a form of fiduciary, with a responsibility to take care of the subject assets. However, rather than fulfill this duty, the defendant converts the money and uses it for his or her own personal gain, having nothing to do with the benefit of the trust or the company.
There are also other examples of white collar crimes that have more to do with the federal government, such as commodities fraud, healthcare fraud, bankruptcy fraud, or pyramid schemes. Thus, intentionally, giving false information to or misleading the government about a bankruptcy or healthcare or something similar could constitute a white collar crime.
A final common example of white collar crime is identity theft. Taking on another person’s identity and using it in order to do things like gain the ability to borrow money or get a credit card would be considered identity theft.
Consequences of a White Collar Crime
The consequences associated with a white collar crime will depend on the exact nature of the associated conviction. There are a number of different types of white collar offenses that involve separate forms of penalties. For example, if an individual is convicted of theft, the maximum associated consequences will depend upon the value of the assets taken. If an individual is convicted of taking $1,000, he or she will face much less serious consequences than an individual who is convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is considered a felony. Thus, the consequences a person convicted of a white collar crime can face depend on the nature of the crime.
It is also important to understand such consequences are not dependent only upon the amount of the assets taken. In order to have committed a white collar crime, the defendant must have been in a position of trust, with a fiduciary responsibility to care for the money of someone else. Thus, when he or she committed the crime, he or she violated that trust. Many judges consider such a violation inexcusable and worthy of strict sentencing, depending on the nature of the circumstances. For example, if the defendant took money from a business’s profits or a vulnerable individual, it would not be unusual for a judge to want to impose a jail sentence for such a crime.
It is, therefore, important for individuals who have been charged with white collar crime to understand that such crime is not considered victimless and is often taken very seriously by judges in court.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
Generally speaking, the benefits of hiring a Maryland white collar crimes lawyer when charged with a white collar crime are exactly the same as those associated with hiring a lawyer for any other type of crime. A white collar crimes attorney in Maryland can understand the elements that the state has to prove. Additionally, he or she can understand the rules of evidence and the rules of procedure. This knowledge enables the attorney to be much better prepared to defend a person than a person would be to build a defense on their own.
Specifically, when it comes to white collar crime, it is of benefit to have an attorney because, often times, white collar crimes are very document-driven and, as a result, proven by paper. Because of this, white collar crimes can involve complex documents or pages and pages of statements and records. This incredibly voluminous amount of evidence is tedious to review and difficult to analyze. A defendant who hires a Maryland white collar crimes attorney who is familiar with such evidence will be much better suited for a successful defense.