“White collar crime” is a term that encompasses an array of criminal offenses that are not violent in nature and are usually committed for the purposes of financial gain. Although people from all walks of life may find themselves facing such charges, this term is used to differentiate these crimes from other crimes termed “blue collar crimes” that may be violent (such as assault and battery or homicide) or are less indirect in terms of financial gain (such as grand theft auto or shoplifting). If you are facing one of these allegations and need to retain legal counsel, contact a white-collar crime lawyer at Okabe and Haushalter.
White collar crimes include various charges under different sections of the California Penal Code. Some of the more common white collar crimes include:
Although people group all white collar crimes together under the same moniker, each crime is covered by a different part of the state law and carries a unique penalty if convicted. Let’s review penalties for two common forms of white-collar crime: embezzlement and forgery.
Embezzlement is outlined under California Penal Code Sections 503 through 515 as any misappropriation or misuse of funds that have been entrusted to a given party. This may mean that a bank teller slips money from their cash drawer into their pocket for personal use or that a conservator takes money from an ailing relative’s trust and uses it to finance a new car for personal use. Embezzlement is prosecuted in the same way as theft under state law, so depending on the value of the funds or goods misappropriated, embezzlement could be charged as either petit theft (value below 950 dollars) or grand theft (value above 950 dollars) and punished with jail or prison time and fines if convicted.
Forgery is described by California state law as falsifying signatures or documents. Penalties are outlined under California Penal Code Section 473, which states that forgery itself is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail for those convicted. However, if the forgery was conducted as part of a fraud scheme involving bank fraud, wire fraud, check fraud, etc., then the penalties could involve incarceration in federal prison and steep fines because these forms of fraud are federal offenses.
If you are facing one of these or any other so-called white-collar criminal charges, contact a white-collar crime lawyer in Palos Verdes at Okabe and Haushalter. We are experts in white-collar criminal defense and we have offices located throughout the greater Los Angeles area to serve you. We have a reputation for courtroom excellence because of our ability to get real results for our clients. We are known for our aggressive defense tactics in court, and we will put our legal know-how to work to get a satisfying resolution to your case in the courtroom. Call today for a no-cost case evaluation and make the first move toward taking your life back into your hands.