Being accused of a white-collar crime is nothing to take lightly. If you’re convicted, you could face jail or prison time along with a hefty fine depending on the charge. Get in contact with a white-collar crime lawyer as soon as you can if you’ve been accused of committing a white-collar crime.
Ask a White-Collar Crime Lawyer: Will I Go to Jail for Committing a White-Collar Crime?
There are many types of white-collar crimes, and you should visit this page to learn more about them. Luckily, experienced attorneys have seen it all and should be able to help you to the best of their ability, no matter what the accusation is. If you’re innocent, then they may be able to help you avoid being penalized. If you committed the crime, they may try to get you a reduced fine or sentence if possible.
Jail time is never a guarantee, but it’s always a possibility if you committed a white-collar crime. A plea bargain may help you receive a less severe penalty for your crimes. Jail time is also never a guarantee if you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, but it is a possibility if you can’t find an attorney who can help you prove your innocence. Always work with the best attorney you can when dealing with white-collar crime accusations you know are false.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a White-Collar Crime?
Class C misdemeanors don’t carry jail time as a punishment, but you may face a fine of up to $500. If charged with a class B misdemeanor, you may face a fine of up to $2,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days. Finally, if you’re facing a Class A misdemeanor, then you may have to pay a fine of up to $4,000 and/or deal with a jail sentence of up to one year.
Which misdemeanor you’re charged with depends on the amount of money or the value of the property stolen. The classifications are as follows:
- Class C Misdemeanor: Up to $50
- Class B Misdemeanor: $50-$500
- Class A Misdemeanor: $500-$1,500
Felony penalties are more severe. The amounts that must be stolen for your crime to be classed as a felony are as follows:
- State Jail Felony: $1,500-$20,000
- Third-Degree Felony: $20,000-$100,000
- Second-Degree Felony: $100,000-$200,000
- First-Degree Felony: Over $200,000
If charged with a state jail penalty, you may face 180 days to 2 years in jail and pay a fine of up to $10,000. With third-degree felonies, you’ll face 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Second-degree felonies carry a punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Lastly, with a first-degree felony, you may spend 5 to 99 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $10,000.
How Do I Avoid a Jail Sentence If I’ve Been Accused of a White-Collar Crime?
The only way to avoid a jail sentence is to contact the best attorney you can and work on a defense strategy with them. If you didn’t commit the crime, then there’s a good chance your attorney may be able to have your case dismissed. Even if you did commit the crime, your attorney will do everything they can to ensure you only get a fine or you spend the least amount of time possible in jail or prison, depending on what you’re charged with and the amount of evidence against you.
Common White-Collar Crime Defense Strategies
1. You Were Entrapped
Sometimes you may be entrapped into committing a crime by an undercover officer. If you can prove entrapment, then it can work as a defense strategy if you committed a white-collar crime.
2. You Were Under Duress
If you were at risk of losing your job or coming into harm’s way if you didn’t commit the crime, then this will typically be used as part of your defense strategy. For example, your boss may have threatened to fire you if you didn’t commit fraud or embezzle to benefit them.
4. You Had No Intent
People make mistakes and bad decisions. That doesn’t mean they intended to commit a criminal offense. If you can prove your lack of intent, then you may be able to avoid a charge or have your penalty reduced.
5. You Were Intoxicated
If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when committing the crime, then it may be used as part of your defense. However, you must have unwillingly or unknowingly taken the substance that intoxicated you.
Most white-collar crime charges have a penalty that involves jail or prison time, but working with the best lawyer you may help you avoid it or significantly reduce the time you’ll spend behind bars. Be honest with your attorney, and do everything you can to help them build you a solid defense.
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