Not all crimes are treated equal under California law. Most crimes are categorized as either blue collar crime or white collar crime. And depending on which category it falls under, in addition to some other circumstances, the punishment and sentencing will vary if convicted. In most cases, white collar crimes tend to have a “lighter” sentence than compared to blue collar crimes. So, what exactly constitutes white collar crimes?
History of the Term White Collar Crime
The origin of the term “white collar crime” can be traced back to Edwin Sutherland, a sociologist and criminologist, who proposed the term to American Sociological Society. He was known as one of the most influential criminologists of the 20th century.
The term was first used in the 1930’s when describing non-violent crimes. In most cases, prosecutors charged individuals with these crimes when they did not have enough evidence to bring charges for more violent crimes.
White Collar Crimes in California
White collar crimes in California are prosecuted by the Federal Government, the District Attorney’s Office, and the local prosecutor’s office. Most white collar crimes are non-violent and concern the property or money entrusted in the hands of an employee.
Some common types of white collar crimes include:
- Tax evasion
- Securities fraud
- Ponzi schemes
- Insider trading
Charging of White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are charged just like any other type of crime. If you are accused of any type of white collar crime, you will have the same legal defenses and protections that apply in any other criminal matter. The only major difference is that the legal principles and theories are more complex, and your Fresno criminal defense attorney will need to deal with more evidence, which is usually in the form of immense amounts of paperwork and documents.
In most cases, the suspect of the investigation unknowingly makes a statement to the investigators that seals their fate. This is why it is important that you immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer if you believe you may be the suspect of a criminal investigation.
A conviction of a white collar crime can have devastating impacts on anyone investigated or charged with the crime, especially if you are a professional. The government can utilize forfeiture laws immediately after charges have been filed to take away your home and property, your professional licensing, and any accreditation you may have.
Call an Experienced Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you learn about your legal rights and options.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.