Whenever an American citizen is charged with any criminal offense, they have the right to legal counsel under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. If they cannot afford to hire a private defense attorney, the court can appoint a public defender to represent them in their criminal trial. Many people choose public defenders to represent them to avoid paying legal fees. While it may seem prudent to opt for free legal representation, it’s important to know the differences between public defenders and experienced private criminal defense attorneys.
The majority of public defenders are capable, hardworking, and dedicated to defending their clients to the best of their abilities. However, the nature of their work demands that they manage multiple cases at a time, meaning they cannot provide much in the way of personal attention to any given case. A private San Diego white collar crimes attorney can offer far more comprehensive legal counsel. The attorneys at Zentz & Zentz are careful to maintain a balanced caseload, ensuring we can provide each client we represent with the full extent of our resources, experience, and professional attention.
“White collar crime” is a broad term that can apply to many different criminal offenses. Some of the most commonly cited forms of white collar crimes prosecuted in San Diego courts include:
White collar crime can occur in many ways, and any kind of business can become involved in these criminal activities.
Law enforcement agencies at both the state and federal levels can investigate white collar crimes. State law enforcement will typically handle white collar crime cases that occur within the state, while federal law enforcement could step in when a white collar crime operation spans multiple states or countries or involves government programs. It is also possible for a white collar crime case to bring the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act into play. The RICO Act was first established to combat organized crime syndicates in 1970, but it is still used today to investigate and prosecute all types of criminal organizations and conspiracies.
If you are arrested by local or state police for a white collar crime, your case will probably unfold at the state level in a state criminal court. However, if you were the subject of a federal investigation managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), your case is more likely to unfold at the federal level, and the potential penalties for conviction will be much more severe in a federal white collar crime case.
The penalties for white collar crimes vary depending on many factors, such as the amount of money involved in the illegal activities in question, the number of participants in an organized white collar criminal conspiracy, and the number of victims affected by the defendants’ behavior. Typically, the penalties for conviction of a white collar crime can include:
A defendant convicted of any white collar crime will likely face a combination of these penalties. Additionally, their conviction can have severe consequences for their personal and professional life, including loss of standing in their community, loss of professional licenses, and much more.
If you were wrongfully accused of a white collar crime or unwittingly involved in a white collar crime operation due to the actions of your employer, it is essential to secure legal counsel from an experienced San Diego white collar crimes lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your defense. Even if you knowingly broke the law and the prosecution has a solid case against you, it is crucial to obtain legal counsel from a trusted defense attorney for the best chance of avoiding the harshest possible sentencing your case may entail.
Zentz & Zentz understand the stress and uncertainty that follow any criminal charge. If you have been accused of any white collar crime in San Diego, it is crucial that you exercise your right to legal counsel as soon as possible after your arrest. If you are facing any white collar crime charges in San Diego, we can help. Contact Zentz & Zentz today to schedule a consultation with an experienced San Diego white collar crimes attorney.