White collar crime in Washington, D.C. often results in substantial financial damage to its victims—yet, punishment tends to be less than severe than for other types of crimes. There are two main reasons for the difference in punishment between white collar and most blue collar crimes:
- White collar crime does not result in physical harm to its victims.
- Judges have more options in determining sentencing for white collar crimes—for blue collar crimes, sentencing is mandatory.
Because of the flexibility in the law and sentencing, experienced criminal defense attorneys can often apply creative techniques to build effective cases for their clients. And, they have more latitude in fighting for reduced sentencing when conviction is inevitable.
HOW IS Sentencing DIFFERENT IN White collar crime law?
Depending on the type of law that was broken, white collar crimes can be prosecuted at the federal level, the state level, or both when the laws overlap. In overlap situations, the federal action is taken after state prosecution, and only in certain situations, such as when there is a substantial federal interest in proceeding with a second prosecution.
At either level, sentencing can include jail time, heavy fines, and the payment of restitution to victims. It is interesting to note that federal convictions for a white collar criminal often result in higher rates of incarceration than is typical for an individual convicted of possession of drugs or firearms. The following white collar crime incarceration rates illustrate this point:
- Fraud has a 35.6 percent rate of incarceration
- Embezzlement has a 39.3 percent rate of incarceration
- Forgery or counterfeiting has a 29.2 percent rate of incarceration.
Penalties for white collar crimes can be as much as 30 years in prison, but judges typically issue significantly reduced sentences:
Of course, anyone convicted of a white collar crime pays in other ways, as well. In addition to losing their personal and professional credibility, they are typically required to forfeit their assets, and they lose their rights to further relationships with the government or corporate worlds.
Contact an experienced white collar crime attorney in Washington, D.C.
Whether you are being investigated or charged with a white collar crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is skilled in this unique area of the law. Contact Lotze Mosley, LLP to schedule a free initial appointment to discuss your situation as soon as you are investigated or charged with a crime.