White Collar Criminal Offenses
At Aldridge & Birdwhistell, we have defended clients accused of embezzlement, fraud and other white collar crimes. White collar criminal prosecutions can be lengthy and complicated, and it is very important to be extremely careful about what you say or do if you are under investigation for a white collar offense.
A white collar crime is generally defined as a criminal offense that is accomplished by the use of deception rather than force or the threat of force. As with all criminal offenses, the elements of the crime that must be proven in order to convict someone of the crime are set out in state or federal statutes.
Highly Technical And Complex Cases
The difference with white collar crimes is that these statutes are often very lengthy, highly technical and complex. Oftentimes, even legal scholars and experts in the field may disagree over whether a particular activity is lawful or not.
For instance, is an aggressive securities broker engaging in high-volume but lawful trading activity for the client’s benefit or unlawful excessive trading solely to generate commissions and fees? Is a zealous accountant or taxpayer using aggressive but lawful tax avoidance strategies or engaging in unlawful tax evasion?
When questions like these arise, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can build a strong defense and find the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. We handle a variety of white collar criminal charges, including:
- Insurance or health care fraud
- Consumer fraud
- Identity theft
- Tax evasion
- Securities fraud
- Internet/computer crimes
- Ponzi and pyramid schemes
Prosecutions for white collar offenses often begin with lengthy investigations before an arrest is ever made.
Before There Are Formal Charges Filed
Depending upon the size and complexity of the case, these investigations may go on for months or even years while the government builds its case. At any time during this phase, you may be approached and questioned by law enforcement.
Although you may think you are helping yourself out by answering innocent questions, the police are expertly trained in getting you to make statements they can use against you. Even a statement wholly unrelated to the alleged offense, if it is untruthful or contradictory to a previous statement, may be used against you.
Do Not Help Law Enforcement
Talk to an attorney before you talk to the police. You have a constitutional right to refuse to answer questions or to have an attorney present during any questioning.
If you bring us in during the investigation phase, we may be able to influence how an arrest is made or which charges are filed. We may even be able to prevent charges from being filed in the first place.