White collar crimes in Buffalo and WNY are serious matters. In fact, if you're charged with a white collar crime, you could face a grand jury. While a grand jury doesn't have the power to determine your guilt, it has the power to determine if there is enough evidence against you to proceed to a traditional criminal trial. White collar crime allegations can be levied against individuals or entire corporations. If you or your business was accused of a white collar crime, it is important to contact an experienced Buffalo white collar crime attorney immediately.
ALLEGATIONS THAT CAN RUIN YOUR CAREER
There is more than one problem involved when you're accused of a white collar crime. While you could face prison and fines if you're found guilty, your employment could suffer even if you're found innocent. An allegation of a white collar crime can ruin your career. Imagine if you were charged with insurance fraud or identity theft and found innocent. Even if you're not going to lose a professional license and can remain in business, the news is out about the allegations. People will no longer trust you with their personal or business information.
What Is a White Collar Crime?
A white collar crime is a criminal occurrence with a financial motivation. They are non-violent offenses. White collar crimes can be charged against numerous professionals. Most commonly, lawyers, doctors, accountants, corporate directors, and business executives are the individuals who are often charged. However, any crime that would fall under New York's definition of a white collar crime could be considered a federal offense if fraud against the federal government was involved in some way.
Forgery often isn't charged on its own. It is often charged along with criminal possession of a forged instrument. Forgery can be charged as a misdemeanor or it can be charged as a felony depending on the circumstances involved. Forgery doesn't just apply to high dollar items, either. It is something that can be done with or without a written instrument (such as a check or a money order). The definition of “written instrument” under New York white collar crimes law is extremely broad. A receipt could even be classified as a written instrument. The written instrument doesn't have to be complete in order for you to be charged. With a forgery charge, it must be proven that you had the intent to defraud another person or a business. Forgery, like many other crimes, is separated by degrees: first, second, and third degree. Forgery, regardless of its degree, is an extremely serious white collar crime and you could lose your professional certification or license even if you are not sentenced to prison. For a misdemeanor forgery, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail. For felony, you could receive a prison sentence between four and seven years.
Like other criminal charges, insurance fraud is charged in degrees: first, second, third, fourth, and fifth degrees. Insurance fraud in the fifth degree is a misdemeanor that can include any act that is simply deemed as fraudulent activity related to insurance. Insurance fraud is an extremely broad concept in New York. If you're charged with insurance fraud, you should seek out the services of a qualified Buffalo white collar crime attorney in Buffalo NY who has experience in handling these serious allegations. To sum up insurance fraud, any act that is done with the intent to defraud or lie to an insurance company can result in the person or business being charged with insurance fraud. Depending on the degree of insurance fraud, you could receive between 1 and 25 years in prison.
Bribery is another common white collar crime. Bribery is separated into degrees: first, second, and third. Additionally, the person who takes the bribe can be charged with bribe receiving. That is a stand-alone crime related to bribery. Regardless of the degree, bribery is a felony charge in the State of New York. Even if it is the first time that you've ever been charged with a crime, you could still receive a prison sentence. You could face up to 25 years in prison if you're found guilty.
Identity theft is also considered a white collar crime. Because identity theft has become a worldwide problem, the United States is cracking down on it at a state level. Identity theft is charged in degrees: first, second, or third degree. It can also be charged as aggravated identity theft. Identity theft in New York is defined as using someone else's personal information for your own benefit. This charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. You could face fines and imprisonment if you're found guilty.
CHARGED WITH A WHITE COLLAR CRIME IN BUFFALO?
If you've been charged with a white collar crime in Buffalo and WNY, immediately contact Buffalo white collar crime attorney Drew Fritsch to defend you against the allegations. Your future is on the line. Don't wait, and don't talk to the authorities alone.