White-collar criminal charges such as embezzlement or wire fraud don’t leave people physically injured, but they can cause significant financial harm. State prosecutors often treat financial crimes as felonies, and many white-collar crimes might actually turn out to be federal offenses.
Typically, by the time prosecutors announce charges or the police move to arrest someone, there is a stack of financial evidence. How can individuals accused of white-collar criminal offenses prepare to defend themselves in court?
Access and review the evidence
Every criminal defendant facing charges in either federal or state court has the right to defend themselves, which includes the right of discovery. A defendant needs to know what evidence the state has against them if they are to feasibly mount of viable defense in criminal court.
The right of discovery allows you to access the exact evidence that the state has against you, including the financial records that allegedly implicate you and a list of witnesses who may testify in your case. For many individuals facing white-collar criminal charges, the best solution will involve professional analysis of the financial records for their case.
A forensic accountant could be an important addition to your defense team, as they can assist your attorney in the process of reviewing the records related to the alleged misconduct. That review could uncover evidence about who ultimately benefited or who actually conducted different transfers.
You could potentially raise questions about someone else’s involvement or prove that some of the activity took place on days that you weren’t in the office. The evidence against you could be the way that you establish a reasonable doubt about your actual involvement in the scheme.
Pleading guilty would mean major life changes
The state won’t view a white-collar offense as a victimless crime. Anyone accused of such offenses can expect rigorous prosecution and significant penalties even if they cooperate and plead guilty to the charges against them. A complicated legal case will give you opportunities for your defense strategy.
Defending yourself may require both a financial investment and a significant time commitment, but it could preserve not just your freedom but your reputation and professional licensing. Fighting back against white-collar criminal charges is often the best response to an arrest or indictment.