One of the reasons people may seek out an Ohio criminal defense attorney is because they are under suspicion for or have been charged with a white collar crime. Examples of white collar violations include:
- Money Laundering
- Corporate Fraud
- Insurance & Health Care Fraud
- Mortgage & Financial Institution Fraud
- Intellectual Property Theft/Piracy
Possible Penalties for White Collar Convictions
The penalties should one be convicted can be stiff and depend on whether the crime is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. White collar misdemeanors include fines up to $1000 and/or a maximum of 180 days in jail. White collar felonies in the first degree can include three to 10 years in state prison and/or fines up to $20,000.
This can be disruptive to your personal and professional life, making having a solid defense strategy and legal representation essential. We’ll cover some of the most typical defenses that those accused and their Ohio criminal defense attorney might use to get charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
1. Lack of Intent
Numerous white-collar crimes require law enforcement to prove that defendants acted with the equisite intent to commit the violation—often to defraud a particular person or entity. It’s not uncommon for this evidence to be deemed circumstantial, and challenging this evidence creates a strong defense. In fact, lack of intent is often how attorneys get these charges dismissed. Four levels of intent and purpose defendants are charged with include:
2. Illegal Search or Seizure
The Fourth Amendment guarantees law enforcement to have reasonable cause to search or seize someone’s property or documents. If satisfying that criteria isn’t met, a white collar defense attorney can have any evidence obtained banned from the trial. When evidence is excluded, some prosecutors have no option but to drop the case.
Another possible legal defense in these cases is police entrapment, which is when officers have coerced a defendant into a white collar crime they otherwise wouldn’t have committed. Some tactics they may use include undercover officers or those who threaten the person charged with harm if they don’t comply. If entrapment can be proven, it can be a good defense to the charges.
4. Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for pressing charges against white collar defendants is typically five years. However, those committed against financial institutions can allow for 10 years for a criminal case to be initiated. Should co-conspirators be involved, the statues can be extended to start after their final part in the crime.
5. Ignorance of the Law
Ignorance white collar laws isn’t necessarily a defense to a criminal charge. Yet, the prosecutor has the burden of showing that the defendant acted with intent when committing the crime. Even if this isn’t employed as a defense mechanism, an attorney can use ignorance of the law to mitigate reducing penalties during sentencing.
Don’t Fight Charges Alone: Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Skip Potter
You don’t have to provide any potentially incriminating statements to law enforcement, especially prior to contacting a criminal defense attorney. If you are facing white collar charges or others like driving while intoxicated, you should talk to an experienced DUI attorney in Bowling Green or our criminal lawyer near Findlay, Perrysburg, Fremont, Maumee or Waterville,
Skip Potter will take an active approach during the investigation of cases to help the accused avoid arrest or facing repercussions during the trial and prosecution stages. For a free confidential consultation with Mr. Potter, call 419-353-SKIP or contact the Potter Law Office online.