White collar crimes are an informal category of charges that generally consists of forms of fraud or financial crimes. The term “white collar” refers to the social standing of those involved in the crime, usually corporate workers.
White collar crime is typically nonviolent and can be hard to spot. It is less blatant than crimes like armed robbery or vandalism but can be just as serious. Most white collar crimes are felonies, so they carry steep penalties.
Evidence of white collar crime
The evidence trail is much more subtle when it comes to white collar crime. For example, much of the evidence is digital in financial fraud, which is different than physical evidence like weapons or DNA that can accompany other crimes. Forensic evidence brought forward in such a trial could include documents or even medical evidence.
Defending against white collar charges
Fraud, insider trading, or other corporate crimes are often federal crimes. This is because they can involve a bank or a federal agency like the Social Security Administration, or they may involve activities that cross state lines. Defendants will likely see their case tried in a federal courtroom instead of a state court.
When facing a white collar charge, the accused should start preparing as soon as possible. Felony cases are often more complex than misdemeanors, and it may take time to assemble evidence to present to the jury or judge.
White collar crimes have serious consequences, including jail time and fines, that can affect the personal and professional life of the convicted person for many years to come. A strong defense may help to prevent these outcomes.