San Diego Financial Crimes Attorney
Financial crimes, also known as white-collar crimes, involve financial gain perpetrated through some type of non-violent fraudulent activity. These crimes may include not only the traditional white-collar offenses of fraud and embezzlement, but also bribery, forgery, filing of false insurance or government claims, securities violations, telemarketing offenses, trademark or trade secret offenses, price-fixing, illegal employment practices, health violations, credit card or credit access, escrow and construction violations, and others. Depending upon the severity of the offense, the amount or value of money or property lost, and whether interstate commerce was used to perpetrate the offenses, some are charged in state court and some are charged as federal crimes.
White-collar crime cases range from very simple to extremely complex. The range of behavior involved is great and how the case is handled depends upon a number of factors including, but not limited to: the age, and vulnerability of the victim(s), the number of transactions involved, the amount of money or property lost, motive, the amount of evidence involved to prove the event, the accused’s ability to pay restitution, and other issues.
Even an analysis of a client’s goals and risks often involves substantial resources and investigation. Where conduct alleged involves a lengthy history with many transactions over a long period of time, a lawyer will spend a significant amount of time reviewing the evidence to give an accurate diagnosis of the likelihood of conviction.
Over time, the punishment for white-collar offenses has changed. More severe sentences are now more likely than they were in the past. Gone are the days where white-collar crime is viewed lightly. Although it is possible to avoid a long-term jail or prison sentence, it is still possible to negotiate a better deal.
At sentencing, the court will consider many factors. Some factors, including whether this is a first offense, the defendant acted out of desperation, or has a treatable psychological condition, may help to mitigate the sentence. Where the prosecution proved that the crimes happened as a result of a plot to defraud, the defendant is likely to be sentenced more harshly. Also considered at sentencing is the defendant’s ability to repay the property or money stolen.
As part of a thorough investigation, an experienced attorney will want to investigate your life and your personal circumstances at the time of the commission of the crime. The attorney may seek a psychological evaluation to uncover any personal stressors that may have caused you to act out in an inappropriate manner.