White collar crime still brings to mind images and quotes from “Office Space” and the lead character’s description of white collar federal prison as a haven and resort away from life. However, our Phoenix white collar crime lawyers at Ryan Garvey Attorneys know that this is not often the case, and federal prison (while a bit more relaxed than state prison) is still prison with all its nuts and bolts. White collar crime involves very serious federal offenses that can lead to not only years in prison, but also fines and a bleak future.
In Phoenix, white collar crime is defined as nonviolent crime intended to commit illegal financial gain. It was labeled “white collar” because early sociologists noted that the white collar employee was more likely to commit corporate crimes than regular street crimes. The white collar criminal emerged during the Great Depression as workers who held higher-paying positions frequently resorted to dire tactics to maintain their way of living, which often included lesser-known crimes such as embezzlement and money laundering. This was very different from the regular street crimes, which were often a product of the environment, such as burglary, theft, and vandalism. White collar crime emerged as a unique form of crime that was associated only with employees who had access to large sums of money and chose to take advantage of this fact.
White collar crime is typically associated with federal charges due to the prevalence of crimes such as bank fraud, insider trading, copyright infringement and tax fraud – all of which are federal offenses. Many white collar crimes are also state crimes, although the more news-worthy offenses are frequently federal offenses.
Being charged with a white collar crime is a serious situation. We no longer live in the Great Depression, and now have distinct laws in place to combat and deter white collar criminals. White collar criminals typically take advantage of their position in a well-known company or a further distraction within the economic climate. Often, many people associated with white collar criminals end up under investigation and charged as well.
If you have been charged either as the principal actor or as a mere associated contact, either situation is frightening. Depending on your charge, you may be facing federal prison time or state jail time. Neither prospect is very forthcoming. Therefore, it is important that you contact an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as you have the chance.
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