Non-violent crimes, such as fraud and embezzlement, are considered “white collar” in the state of North Carolina. White collar crimes typically involve deceit and are usually done with the motivation of financial gain.
If you’re facing criminal charges in regards to a white collar crime, the penalties can be quite severe. You need to fight back to protect your future, and in order to craft the most effective defense strategy, it’s important to understand what exactly constitutes a white collar crime in North Carolina.
As experienced white collar crime attorneys, the lawyers at Schlosser & Pritchett have put together this guide to white collar crimes to help you do exactly that.
Types of White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes encompass a wide range of illegal activities. Some are committed by individuals, while others involve businesses or even government entities. The most common examples of white collar crimes include:
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
- Employee theft
- Credit card theft
- Asset forfeiture
Proving a White Collar Crime – and Fighting Charges
The level of proof that the state requires to convict someone accused of a white collar crime varies depending on the crime charged. White collar crimes may also be prosecuted by the Federal government, including the United States Department of Justice and various other agencies.
It can be difficult to prove a white collar crime has been committed. Prosecutors must show that the defendant specifically intended to steal from or defraud someone else. Even when a person is found guilty of a white collar crime, plea negotiations can often drastically reduce sentences, sometimes even resulting in no jail time.
For the prosecution to obtain a conviction for any type of white collar crime, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly and intentionally committed the crime that you are being tried for. An experienced criminal defense attorney will put all evidence under a microscope in an effort to show that reasonable doubt exists.
Often, these types of criminal activities involve numerous people acting illegally. In other words, a criminal conspiracy. To prove a criminal conspiracy, three elements must be established: (1) an agreement to commit the offense in question, (2) the willing participation by the defendant, and (3) a blatant act in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Penalties Associated with White Collar Crimes
If convicted of a white collar crime, you may be looking at a possible prison sentence, especially if the amount of money involved is particularly high. With North Carolina fraud, for example, anything involving more than $100,000 is considered a Class C felony and is punishable by up to 182 months (or just over 15 years) in prison – even if it’s your first ever conviction.
White collar crimes can not only result in a lengthy imprisonment, but are also often accompanied by steep fines and irreparable damage to the person’s reputation, often ruining his or her career. Additionally, investigation into alleged white collar offenses can be long and extremely stressful.
If you’ve been arrested or are under investigation for any type of white collar criminal offense, arming yourself with knowledge is one of the most important steps. Investigators and prosecutors often try to use scare tactics to push people into saying or doing things that could harm their case and make conviction more likely.
The best way to keep this from happening is to reach out to a skilled North Carolina white collar crimes lawyer as soon as you are charged or learn that you are under investigation.
About the Author
Attorney Mike Schlosser represents victims of personal injury, those charged with a crime, as well as those facing traffic charges. A former Guilford County, North Carolina District Attorney, Schlosser has been in private practice at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett since 1983 and has been a member of the North Carolina State Bar since 1973.