If you have been charged with a white collar crime in North Carolina, you need to know how the laws apply in your case.
Below, we’re going to detail the law in our state, including the various types of white collar crimes, as well as what defense strategies you may be able to use to fight your charges.
Defining White Collar Crimes in North Carolina
White collar crimes normally do not involve violence. Instead, they cover business or monetary transactions for unlawful financial gain.
That may not sound as serious as committing a violent act, but don’t tell that to lawmakers. These types of charges often come with serious penalties like prison terms, high fines, and lengthy probation sentences.
Here are some examples of white collar crime:
- Fraud—this crime has many different forms
- Embezzlement—misusing funds for unintended purposes
- Extortion—using threats to procure funds
- Insider Trading—using unlawfully obtained information for financial gain
- Insurance Fraud—faking claims to receive payouts
- Money Laundering—transferring money to mask its criminal origins
- Mortgage Fraud—receiving payments based on false loans
- Ponzi Schemes—engaging in multilayered, fraudulent investment schemes
- Tax Evasion—using deceptive tactics to avoid paying taxes
These crimes can take many different forms and are punished based on a variety of factors, including how much money is involved in the act itself. For the best possible outcome in your case, you need help from a knowledgeable North Carolina criminal defense attorney.
Strategies for Fighting NC White Collar Crime Charges
Since a conviction can come with life-altering consequences, you must consult with a skilled attorney to put together the strongest possible defense. He or she should have a track record of success handling these types of cases.
Any of the following defenses may apply to your situation and help to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Problems with the Evidence
White collar crime cases often involve reams of financial evidence. Your lawyer may be able to locate errors in the evidence or dispute the prosecution’s findings. A seasoned attorney will know how to craft the argument so it makes the most sense to the jury.
Lack of Intent
As with most crimes, white collar crimes often hinge on whether you intended to commit the crime or not. If you cannot be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the case may be dismissed.
Lack of Knowledge
In a complicated situation, you may not have been aware that unlawful acts were occurring. If your lawyer can produce evidence showing that you did not know about the crimes, your charges may be dropped.
Guilt of Victims
If the victims participated in the large network of white collar crime, they will have to face their own charges, and the charges against you could be dropped.
Someone may have forced or coerced you against your will into participating in unlawful financial activity. If this occurred, you may receive a reduced sentence or be absolved of your charges, depending on the situation.
This defense can be used if a law enforcement officer forces, coerces, or induces you to commit a crime that you would not have committed otherwise.
You complied with the crime because someone threatened harm against you or a loved one if you didn’t act according to their wishes.
If you were mentally unable to understand what was going on at the time of the crime, you may be able to use this defense.
Statute of Limitations Expired
A case cannot be tried if the act occurred prior to the statute of limitations in North Carolina.
Check with an attorney to know which defense is the most likely to work in your situation.
If You are Facing White Collar Charges in North Carolina
You must respond in the right ways if you are under investigation by state or federal authorities. Consulting with an experienced North Caroling criminal lawyer as soon as charges are filed or you learn you are under investigation will help you know what to say and what not to say.
You need to walk the fine line between cooperation and incriminating yourself with your words or actions. Any information you share can be used against you in court.
Some documents may be protected from the eyes of investigators, and a knowledgeable attorney will understand which documents you can keep. Your lawyer can help protect both your assets and your reputation during the investigation.
If a lawsuit is filed against you or your company, your lawyer may be able to work out a plea bargain for a guilty plea. You could receive reduced sentencing and possibly avoid jail time with this option. Your attorney will know the best route to take.
Talk with a North Carolina white collar crime lawyer to know which defenses apply in your case. Get in touch for a free case review today.
About the Author:
Jan Elliott Pritchett?is Managing Partner at the Law Firm of?Schlosser & Pritchett?and one of North Carolina’s top rated criminal defense attorneys. With a practice dedicated 100% to litigation, Mr. Pritchett protects the legal rights of clients who have been charged in federal and state criminal matters, as well as DUI/DWi, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, and traffic violations. In practice since 1995, Mr. Pritchett has earned a reputation as a highly talented and fearless lawyer, being listed among the state’s “Legal Elite” and recognized as one of the Top 100 DWI Lawyers in North Carolina by the National Advocacy of DUI Defense.? He currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization, Criminal Law Specialty, and Vice-Chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section.