Gale Law Group
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Corpus Christi, TX 78401
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White-Collar Crimes FAQ

White-collar crimes refer to any type of criminal behavior that involves deceit or concealment in an effort to earn money, obtain property, or acquire services. The goal of these crimes is to gain some type of business or professional advantage. You can also refer to them as “paper crimes,” because they’re often committed in the workplace in white-collar industries. These types of crimes are usually non-violent, but their effects can be devastating to their victims. There are many types of white-collar crimes. So if you’re facing these types of charges, you will need a qualified attorney to help you come up with a solid defense.

Identity theft and Social Security card

Who is involved in the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes?

White-collar crimes can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level. But, because they often require long investigations that can cross state lines and international boundaries, the federal government is typically in a better position to investigate and prosecute them. In most cases, a federal prosecutor (called an Assistant United States Attorney) will lead the prosecution for white-collar crimes cases.

What is a grand jury?

A grand jury is a group of people whose job is to gather information about any suspected criminal activity by listening to witness testimonies, examining documents, and looking at any other evidence related to the case. The prosecutor serves as a “legal advisor” to the grand jury and controls the flow of witnesses and evidence. At the end of the proceeding, the grand jury will determine if there’s enough evidence to proceed with an indictment.

Are the defendants of white-collar crimes cases treated differently?

Courts try to treat the defendants of white-collar crimes cases no differently than anyone else. Some people might believe that people are accused of white-collar crimes get preferential treatment — especially with regard to plea bargains, the terms of a pretrial release, and the severity of the sentence. But you need to remember that while white-collar crimes are very serious, they don’t usually involve physical violence and can’t be easily committed.

Courts might have some concerns about whether they should release a defendant before the trial or to keep him or her in jail, but it’s not the same as it is for violent offenders. The success of white-collar crimes cases may also depend on the cooperation of more than one defendant. So, a plea bargain for one defendant that results in a more lenient penalty may the only way the government can build a case against a defendant who is guilty of a more serious crime.

How does a prosecutor decide which cases to pursue?

The first thing that a prosecutor will look for is whether the case is legally sound. He or she will look for any holes that can result in it getting thrown out of court. This can include any violations toward the defendant’s constitutional rights or the destruction of any evidence that’s crucial to the defense. Once the prosecutor decides there’s evidence that will likely result in a conviction, he or she will decide if the case fits with the office’s policy objectives or whether a more informal disposition (such as a pre-trial diversion) is a better option.

What is restitution?

Restitution is an order for the defendant to pay the victim a sum of money that’s meant to compensate the victim for the monetary costs related to the crime, and some people who are convicted of white-collar crimes are also required to pay a fine. The Federal Mandatory Victims’ Restitution Act of 1996 (MVRA) entitles the victims of certain crimes to restitution for certain losses that he or she has suffered because of the crime. Many states require defendants to make restitution payments to the victim, and courts will order it under these laws once the offender has been sentenced.

What is forfeiture?

While the laws will vary from state to state, the government may look for criminal forfeiture when some type of property has been used for committing the offense or was obtained as a result of criminal activity. They may ask the court to allow for the seizure of an automobile that was purchased by the defendant with the money that was earned from an insider trading scheme, but it may also look for the forfeiture of certain monies or bank accounts if it can prove that it was used during the commission of a crime or was obtained illegally.

If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi that can protect you if you have been accused of a white-collar crime, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group