By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
“White Collar Crime” refers generally to corporate crimes including but not limited to fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crimes, money laundering, identity theft and forgery. White collar allegations can be particularly detail oriented both with the facts and with the law.
What Makes Charges Scary
Having Defended multiple cases — the pattern you sometimes see is the investigators decide you’re a criminal first and then go about putting their case together later.
White collar cases — with the often hundreds if not thousands of documents tend to be like huge mosaics. Anyone can take a portion of the documents to paint a certain picture which may not reflect how a business or transaction was really conducted.
If you’re charged with a white collar crime you need a lawyer who can show investigators, prosecutors and juries the 40,000 foot view instead of a handful of cherry-picked documents.
Major Differences Between Other Charges
Unlike every-day “street” crimes, “white collar crimes” can be very document-intensive and require experienced counsel that is experienced in document review and analysis. Prosecutors may take a 1,200 page stack of documents and breeze over them to make sure it fits their theory of the case — but a white collar criminal defense lawyer doesn’t have that luxury. A white collar crimes lawyer has to understand that the key evidence that can lead to acquittal can be buried on page 1,034 in the third paragraph from the bottom.
Additionally, the prosecution in white collar cases can fall into many traps. Charging crimes such as embezzlement and misappropriation of fiduciary property is tricky — and some prosecutors, for example, lazily try to prosecute these cases like it was shoplifting from a big-box store. An experienced white collar defense lawyer can expose and utilize such prosecutorial errors.
If you’re accused of a white-collar crime you should involve counsel immediately.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For any legal advice for any specific situation you should directly consult an attorney.