Define White Collar Crime in Arizona
White collar crime is more common in Arizona than you might think. And sometimes, these criminals don’t even realize they’re engaging in illegal behavior on behalf of their employer. That’s why having a good criminal defense attorney is so important to prove a lack of knowledge about illegal activity.
White collar crimes can include any of the following.
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Insurance fraud
- Securities fraud
- Tax evasion
We’ll provide an overview of white-collar crime and what you need to know to avoid a conviction.
Who might be a suspect in white collar crimes?
Individuals that oversee a company’s financial operations are often the first suspect in white collar crime investigations. Generally, this is not just one person, but an entire department that undergoes serious scrutiny and interrogation.
Sometimes, there is one person at the root of these corporate financial schemes. Other times there are multiple people involved.
Generally, investigators start with lower-level employees because they’re more likely to talk when interrogated about illegal activity. Know your rights and plead the fifth until your attorney arrives if you get questioned about financial dealings.
From the moment you learn of an investigation, it’s a good idea to get in contact with a local criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will protect your rights and ensure you don’t accidentally say the wrong things during investigations.
In some cases, lower-level employees report financial concerns to investigators. So during times of financial scrutiny at your organization, avoid gossiping or discussing the matter with other employees. You don’t know who might be providing information to investigators and how they might use your name in their reports.
What to do if you learn of a white collar crime investigation
In many cases, employees are unaware of white collar crime investigations until authorities begin questioning people. Your organization might be under scrutiny long before that.
If your superior starts asking for strange things or you suspect they might be hiding something, you might want to discuss the matter with an attorney. The wrong actions could get you wrapped up in the case by accident.
Individuals that become the target of a white collar crime investigation should take the followings steps:
- Contact a lawyer immediately. The sooner the better as establishing a defense strategy will be an important aspect of protecting your good name.
- Do not speak with anyone until you’ve sought counsel from your attorney.
Avoid deleting or shredding files as this could make you look guilty.
- Do not discuss the matter with any coworkers or even people outside of your employer. What you say to them could be used against you in witness testimony.
- Listen to your attorney’s advice closely as white collar criminal charges are challenging to get dismissed.
Building a white collar crime defense strategy
Once the defense has built their case against you, it’s challenging to get a case dropped without strong legal representation. Your attorney might suggest one of the following defense strategies for your case.
- Lack of intent: your attorney might prove that you were not aware that you were engaging in criminal activity. This can happen when a superior instructs you to engage in criminal activity but claims it is normal business operations.
- Entrapment: when law enforcement starts to suspect that someone is engaging in criminal activity, they might stage an operation to catch the perpetrator. But if law enforcement induces criminal activity in some way, it could be classified as entrapment, which is not lawful.
- Incapacity: sometimes lawyers can prove that a person did not have the physical or mental capacity to understand that they were engaging in criminal activity.
- Intoxication: much like incapacity, your attorney might be able to prove that you were not in full control of your actions due to impairment at the time of the incident. This is a lesser-used defense strategy because it requires some admission of guilt and will still guarantee that you face some penalties for your actions.
No matter the type of white collar crime you’re facing, contact our office immediately. We’ll see to it that you get the defense you deserve to avoid serious penalties.