Were you accused of committing a white collar crime in San Diego, CA? White collar crimes are punished harshly in California. You could be facing significant jail time, financial penalties, and damage to your reputation. Contact an experienced San Diego white collar crimes attorney at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers for help minimizing the fallout.
Our lawyers have over ten years of criminal defense experience. We know how to protect your future and your freedom.
How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help if You Were Arrested for a White Collar Crime in San Diego
The penalties for white collar crimes can be far-reaching. If convicted, you could spend years behind bars and be required to pay back any gains you achieved because of the offense. Your reputation may never fully recover. The conviction can come back to haunt you in unexpected ways.
At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, we take an aggressive approach with every client we represent. Over the years, we’ve helped countless clients fight their charges and obtain the best results possible. We’ve earned a perfect-10 Avvo rating and have been rated by Super Lawyers for our hard work.
Hiring our San Diego criminal defense attorneys means you’ll have an advocate to:
- Launch an independent investigation into the allegations
- Obtain and analyze all prosecutorial evidence
- Find ways to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and challenge the evidence
- Locate our own exculpatory evidence to prove your innocence
- Help you understand the consequences of a plea bargain
- Negotiate with prosecutors to have your charges downgraded or dismissed
It’s important to seek legal advice quickly. Call our law offices to schedule a free initial consultation with a San Diego white collar crimes attorney who can help.
Overview of White Collar Crimes in California
A white collar crime is a financial crime. Still, white collar crimes are punished almost as harshly as many violent crimes. That’s largely because white collar crimes are estimated to cost United States investors billions of dollars per year. White collar crimes can also destroy a person’s financial security.
However, the severity of the punishment will generally depend upon the dollar amount involved and the circumstances of the offense. At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, we handle cases involving all types of white collar offenses.
Our experienced legal team can help if you’ve been accused of:
- Identity theft
- Fraud or forgery
- Money laundering
- Computer and internet crimes
- Unemployment fraud
- Insider trading
- Securities fraud
- Tax fraud or tax evasion
- Health care fraud
- Medicare or Medicaid fraud
- Bank fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Ponzi schemes
Even if you haven’t been charged, it’s important to start building your defense today. Call our San Diego white collar crimes lawyers for a free consultation to get started immediately.
Like most financial crimes, embezzlement is a type of theft crime. However, it differs from traditional theft because the defendant has legal access to the stolen funds or property.
Under California Penal Code Section 503, embezzlement is defined as the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.
To convict on embezzlement charges, the prosecution must prove:
- Someone entrusted you with their property
- The person trusted you, whether as an employee, banker, or even family member
- You fraudulently took the property for your own gain
- You intended to deprive the rightful owner of the benefit of the property
If you’re charged with embezzlement, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. The severity of the crime will depend on the facts.
You could face grand theft embezzlement charges if the stolen property was:
- Valued at $950 or more
- A firearm
- A motor vehicle
Cases involving the embezzlement or theft of firearms are always felony-level offenses.
California criminal laws define identity theft as willfully obtaining someone else’s personal identifying information and using that information for an unlawful purpose.
The law defines the types of unlawful purposes that can trigger identity theft charges. You can be convicted of identity theft if the prosecution can prove that you stole someone’s identity to obtain or attempt to obtain:
- Real property
- Medical information
Common examples of identity theft include:
- Opening a credit card in someone else’s name
- Using someone else’s information to obtain health insurance
- Using a credit card that you found on the sidewalk
- Making purchases under the victim’s name
- Renting an apartment using someone else’s information
- Forging a check
- Using someone else’s information to fraudulently obtain unemployment benefits
As with other theft crimes, identity theft can be a felony or misdemeanor charge. The severity of the crime will depend on:
- The value of the property obtained
- Whether you caused the victim to suffer any serious harm
- Whether your actions were isolated or widespread
- Your prior criminal history
California courts take identity theft very seriously in this day and age. If you were charged, it’s important to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
Computer and Internet Crimes
Internet fraud and cyber-crimes are relatively new criminal offenses. Still, police and prosecutors punish these crimes harshly.
A computer crime isn’t a separate offense. Instead, it’s a blanket term used to describe crimes accomplished using computers, the internet, and related technology.
You may be charged under California Penal Code Section 502 if you:
- Access a computer, computer network, or computer system without permission
- Alter, disrupt, delete, destroy the computer system, or prevent authorized users from gaining access
Prosecutors often must prove that you intended to take control of the legitimate user’s information, funds, or property. They might also attempt to show that you had some type of plan to commit fraud or extortion.
If you were charged with a computer crime, you need an experienced defense lawyer by your side. Call Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to learn more about defense representation today.
What are the Penalties for White Collar Crimes in San Diego, California?
The penalties for public corruption and white collar crimes depend on the value of the property involved and the general circumstances of the offense. The sentencing process in California is complex. The judge will consider all aggravating and mitigating factors when determining the penalties that apply to the conviction.
For example, if you’re charged with petty embezzlement, your punishment can include:
- Six months in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
If you’re facing misdemeanor identity theft charges, you could face:
- Up to one year in county jail
- $1,000 in fines
In more serious felony cases, your punishments could include:
- 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison
- $5,000 in financial penalties
The judge also has the discretion to impose additional penalties–and the collateral consequences of any theft conviction can be severe. If convicted, the judge will probably order you to pay restitution to your victims.
You could also face:
- Asset forfeitures to repay your victims
- Loss of professional licensing
- Probation or parole upon release from jail
- Community service
- Damage to your personal and professional reputation
- A criminal record that you’ll have to disclose when applying for jobs or housing
- Problems with immigration
Most white collar crimes are criminal offenses at both the state and federal levels. If your case attracts the attention of the Department of Justice, FBI, SEC, or IRS, for example, you could be facing charges in federal court.
Further, if aggravating factors are present, your charges can be upgraded to more serious felony-level charges. Our lawyers in San Diego County have the knowledge and skills to fight to have your charges downgraded, or your case dismissed if possible.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a White Collar Crime?
White collar cases can be extremely complex. On the other hand, like any other criminal case, state prosecutors must prove every element of your case beyond a reasonable account.
Our lawyers at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers know how to build the effective defense you deserve. We know your reputation is at stake–and we’ll do everything in our power to clear your name.
Examples of the types of defense strategies that are effective in white collar cases include:
- You lacked the intent to commit a crime or accomplish an unlawful purpose
- Prosecutors lack evidence to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt
- You were a victim of a search and seizure of evidence in violation of your constitutional rights
- You lacked the required fiduciary responsibility
- Other constitutional violations
- False allegations
- Challenges to witness credibility
You deserve the most effective defense strategy possible. Our lawyers know you’re going through a stressful time. We’ll do everything we can to fight the charges you’re facing.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Diego White Collar Crimes Attorney
Our lawyers are ready to start fighting your charges today. Even if you’re only under investigation, we may be able to prevent charges from being filed in the first place. To learn more about our practice, call Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to speak with an experienced San Diego white collar crimes attorney today.
Our criminal defense law firm in San Diego, CA also provides:
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