When someone is caught breaking the law, they can expect to face charges -even if that someone happens to be a company and not a person. San Diego white collar crimes attorney Peter M. Liss helps not only persons accused of crimes, but also businesses.
Corporations on Trial?
It’s easy to envision an individual getting arrested, sitting beside their San Diego criminal lawyer in court and serving time in prison, but it’s a little strange for most people to imagine how a business could go through the criminal process. Obviously you can’t put handcuffs on an office building.
But corporations can and are charged with crimes when directors, agents or employees break the law. While companies can’t go to prison, they can be face heavy fines and they can be subjected to probation where the government oversees their business for a number of years.
Can Employees Go to Prison?
When a company is the defendant, no individuals will risk imprisonment if the company is found guilty. That being said, owners, managers and other employees usually face charges at the same time as the company for their role in violating the law. Both the company and each of the individuals being charged will need a San Diego white collar crimes lawyer.
A notable law that can put employees behind bars for the wrongdoings of their company is the Corporate Criminal Liability Act, better known as the “Be a Manager, Go to Jail” law. Under this law, anyone who is a manager at a company may face a misdemeanor or felony if they have knowledge of a serious hidden danger at the company and fail to report that danger to the employees at risk and the Department of Industrial Relations. For example, if the manager at a warehouse knows the shelving units have become unstable and could easily collapse on employees and the higher ups in the company refuse to fix the problem, the manager could face charges if he neglected to warn employees and the DIR. Violating this law can result in up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
If your company is being investigated or accused, San Diego white collar crime defense attorney Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Creative Commons Image by Horia Varlan