Greenville White Collar Crime Lawyer
The American justice system no longer tolerates white collar crimes, or, at least, this is what the latest government reports suggest. The number of prosecutions for a white collar crime is on the rise at a national level. For example, the month of August 2017 brought about 527 new prosecutions, 15% more than the previous month.
In South Carolina and especially Greenville, white collar crime cases seem to follow the same trend, so most of the parties involved choose to enlist the services of an attorney. Long gone are the days when government officials or business professionals could break the law to pursue their own interests and rest assured no one would ever care or do anything about their actions.
An experienced Greenville white collar crime lawyer can help any party involved in a white collar crime trial understand the laws governing the case and the potential outcomes of the trial. With the help of a lawyer, the parties can find out exactly where they stand, what options they have, and they can build their strategy from there. Before discussing defense strategies, it is important to understand what actions qualify as white collar crimes in Greenville SC, and under what circumstances.
Understanding South Carolina White Collar Crimes and the Laws Governing Them
The law defines white collar crimes as nonviolent with financial motivations, and are typically committed by government or business professionals. Otherwise put, they are the crimes of those who violate laws and regulations in order to obtain financial benefits for themselves.
Depending on the means used, the consequences of one’s actions, the existence of previous convictions, and the value of the benefits obtained, such crimes can attract considerable jail-time punishments. These criteria also serve for differentiating the various types of white collar crimes.
Most Popular Types of White Collar Crime in Greenville, SC
- Fraud – This refers to crimes that involve bait and switch, whose author intentionally misrepresents the truth to obtain financial gains. It has several subcategories:
- Check fraud: Writing business checks to businesses or individuals knowing one’s account cannot cover them
- Credit card fraud: Using revoked credit cards or someone else’s credit card information fraudulently
- Securities fraud: Fraudulent use of information to influence share price and obtain financial gains or investments
- Bank fraud: Deceiving banks or other financial institutions for one’s profit, through check kiting, use of stolen checks, or use of false information to open a bank account or obtain a loan
- Wire fraud: Using the internet, the telephone, or other communication means to commit the crime
- Mail fraud: Using mail to commit fraud
- Tax Evasion – This is when someone takes actions that aim to deprive the government of revenue they should otherwise receive as taxes and fees. This type of Greenville white collar crime can include false tax returns, property transfers to avoid taxes, and more. The authors can be both individuals and organizations.
- Embezzlement – Embezzlement refers to stealing from someone with whom the author is in a work, business, or lender-borrower relationship. The most common cases involve business partners stealing from one another, or employees stealing from their employers.
- Misappropriation of Property – This has the same principles as embezzlement, except that it involves stealing property or goods, not money.
- Counterfeiting – This refers to both money and goods. In fact, most Greenville white collar crimes in this category involve counterfeiting goods and selling them at lower prices than the originals.
- Laundering Money – This means disguising the provenience of illicit funds. The authors usually run both illegal and legal businesses or have accomplices, and run the money they obtained illegally through their legal business, to make it seem legit. Such actions, however, qualify as federal crime, and bring about considerable punishments.
- Blackmail –Blackmail involves obtaining money from someone by threatening them with physical harm, property damage, or exposure of secrets or crimes. Although the official number of such white collar crimes in Greenville is low, it is a crime that may just be underreported.
- Antitrust violations – These crimes refer to fixed prices and building monopolies.
- Environmental law violations – They usually involve polluting the environment by discharging toxic substances into the air, soil, or water, and, thus, harming people and/or damaging property and the environment.
- Kickbacks – They refer to crimes that help their authors obtain unearned advantages in exchange of compensating a company or individual. They favor dishonest competition and they can lead to exaggerated prices for poor quality services.
- Bribery – This involves offering money, services, goods, or some other rewards to someone in an influential position in order to convince them to adopt a certain decision or act in a certain way.
- Public corruption – It means breaching public trust and/or abusing one’s government position in order to obtain benefits for oneself. Most corrupt government officials have accomplices in the private sector and ask for favors or benefits in order to perform or neglect certain official duties.
Implications and Consequences of Facing Charges of White Collar Crimes in Greenville
Since white collar crimes are nonviolent by definition, their perpetrators often take them lightly, considering they would have no serious repercussions. They convince themselves no one will find out, or, if the truth somehow gets out, it will remain at the stage of gossip or speculation, for lack of solid evidence.
This may be true in some isolated cases. However, nowadays, when most businesses and activities rely on digital archives, and anyone can record conversations and meetings, all actions leave a trace. It is only a matter of time until someone discovers that trace and decides to make everything public and bring the truth to the surface. When this happens, the best thing for someone who has allegedly committed a white collar crime can do is to hire the best Greenville white collar crime lawyer they can find, and try to avoid penalties.
In South Carolina, the penalties for white collar crimes range from monetary fines to prison sentences, and combinations of both. They depend on the defendant’s criminal record, on the severity and consequences of the committed crimes, and on how skilled the defendant’s attorney is.
In general, someone without a criminal record that has been accused of a white collar crime in South Carolina, and whose actions only had material consequences (did not result in injury or death), may receive a sentence to probation or a suspended sentence. They will most likely have to pay a fine, forfeit any illegal profits, and compensate the victims.
Defendants with multiple accusations and previous criminal convictions will most likely spend time in prison as well, and jail sentences are considerable in such cases. Their fate often depends on their attorney’s ability to dismount evidence and convince the court to dismiss charges.
Unfortunately, financial losses and jail time are not the only consequences Greenville white collar crimes authors face. Such charges usually ruin their reputation and credibility for good, and make them undesirable, unreliable for employers, and even for the community they live in. They also affect their families.
The spouses cannot cope with the shame and financial hardships and often file for divorce. Their children become the victims of school bullies. Their parents develop depression and anxiety, worried about the fate of their children, and ashamed to look their friends and neighbors in the eyes, knowing what their children did.
Fighting Charges with the Help of a Greenville White Collar Crime Lawyer
Defendants should not surrender when they face charges, no matter how serious these are, or what evidence the prosecution has gathered. They may still be able to turn odds in their favor or minimize the consequences of their actions with the help of an experienced South Carolina white collar crime lawyer.
At Brumback & Langley, we have a history of winning white collar crime cases and helping clients keep their freedom and financial stability. Our experience, skills, and commitment to our clients have helped us develop a broad range of defense strategies that we successfully adapt to the specifics of each case we handle. Where one strategy fails, another one will surely pay out. Below, you will find an overview of the defense strategies and tactics we employ.
Main Defense Strategies for Greenville White Collar Crime Cases
The most important principle governing white collar crimes is that of criminal liability. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution has to convince the court that the defendant had a motive, was aware of one’s actions, and had criminal intent.
A good attorney can prove this was not the case by bringing witnesses, providing alibis, invoking intoxication, physical or mental incapacity, or even insanity. Another solution is to show that the defendant committed the crime under someone else’s threat or influence.
In some South Carolina white collar crime cases, a good attorney may be able to prove entrapment. This basically means showing the court that government personnel created the opportunity for the defendant to commit the crime, and, had it not been for that opportunity, the defendant would have never acted or thought about acting the way one did. One could prove that someone else taught the defendant what to do, or put them in contact with their accomplices, and that the defendant had doubts and rejected the proposal at first.
Depending on the specifics of the case, it may be possible to dismount or eliminate some charges by showing that the prosecution obtained the evidence illegally, the evidence is irrelevant, or someone may have tampered with it. At Brumback & Langley, we have also occasionally managed to convince the court not to take into account certain testimonies, by discrediting witnesses or proving they had ulterior motives for testifying the way they did.
With our help, many of our clients saw their charges dropped for insufficient evidence or reached favorable settlements that allowed them to keep their freedom and move on with their lives despite the overwhelming evidence against them. Of course, our services cover more than legal assistance during court trials.
What to Expect When Working with a White Collar Crime Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina
The sooner you hire a Greenville white collar crime lawyer, the higher your chances of escaping charges and minimizing any consequences. From the first consultation, your attorney can help you find out what penalties you risk and what you can do to avoid them.
It goes without saying that, in order to receive accurate and helpful information, you should provide all the details of your case, as honestly and objectively as possible. You can rest assured that everything you share with your white collar crime lawyer is confidential and will only serve as a starting point for building your defense and protecting your interests.
If you decide to hire us to defend your interests and help you fight charges, we will take over all the legal proceedings, paperwork, and judicial hassles. We will explain everything you don’t know, find out what evidence the prosecution has against you, conduct our own investigation, and help you prove your innocence, lack of criminal intent, entrapment, repent, and willingness to undo the harm that you have caused, according to the defense strategy we agree on.
Your South Carolina white collar crime lawyer will assist you during questioning and investigations, and prevent you from saying or doing anything that could undermine your interests. We will negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and do our best to ensure your immunity, and we will make sure the bond (if any), is set at a reasonable level, so that you may keep your freedom during the court trial.
With our help, you will know exactly what every step you take entails and what consequences it may have. You will be able to make informed decisions, prepare for every stage of your journey towards a favorable verdict, gain time to spend with your loved ones or securing your assets, and save money you would otherwise have to spend on fines and compensations.
Any court trial is a challenge, no matter how insignificant the charges it refers to may seem. Since the stake of most white collar crime trials is one’s freedom, financial status, reputation, and even family, defendants need all the help they can get. In many cases, the support of a Greenville white collar crime lawyer is what gives them confidence and peace of mind, and keeps them going during the trial.
At Brumback & Langley, we have been helping Greenville white collar crime defendants protect their freedom and their interests for years. We can help you, too.