San Diego White Collar Crime Lawyer
I am white collar attorney Peter M. Liss, and I can help you if you have been accused of any non-violent crime in San Diego, California. I have personally defended many individuals who have been arrested or charged with a white collar crime, including:
- Identity Theft
- Computer Crimes
- Money Laundering
- Theft Offenses
- False Impersonation
- Ponzi Schemes
As a top financial crimes lawyer in San Diego, I offer top-quality representation at affordable rates. Please call my office today to schedule a free initial consultation. I accept all major credit cards.
What is a White Collar Crime?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “white collar crime,” but the expression can be confusing if you don’t know the definition. White collar crime offenses include stealing or wrongfully taking the property of another, fraudulently taking entrusted property, and defrauding someone of property, real estate, or labor by a false representation or pretense.
The phrase “white collar crime” refers to the fact that people were traditionally more likely to commit financial or computer crimes while working in an office where they had access to sensitive data and computers. These days, anyone of any background or class can commit a non-violent crime of this nature. While these crimes generally do not involve violence or weapons, the penalties are still grave, and the cases are often very complex.
Always Take White Collar Charges Seriously
While these crimes were not heavily enforced or punished in the past, police, prosecutors, and lawmakers have been much more active in taking steps to stop these criminal activities in modern times. Police and prosecutors now have special units dedicated exclusively to white collar criminal activities and computer crimes. As a result, when the District Attorney brings up charges against someone for a white collar crime, they usually have ample evidence to support their case.
White Collar Crimes Carry Significant Penalties
The penalties for these crimes have become increasingly severe in the last few decades. Those convicted of white collar crimes will often face significant jail or prison sentences, mandatory restitution to the victims, and heavy fines.
On top of that, lawmakers continue to pass new legislation outlawing questionable activities conducted online or through other modern technologies. In many cases, additional prison time can be given for fraud or theft for higher amounts, depending on the exact offenses charged. If you are facing any charges of this type, immediately contact a San Diego white collar defense attorney with experience handling these types of crimes.
Fraud Crimes in San Diego
One of the most common types of white collar crimes is fraud. There are many different types of fraud, but some of the most common include:
- Insurance Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Welfare Fraud
- Real Estate Fraud
- Car Registration Fraud
- Car Insurance Fraud
- Workers’ Compensation Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Charity Fraud
Insurance Fraud Cases are Thoroughly Investigated
Fraud can be committed in many ways, with many forms formally charged as mail, wire, or securities fraud. A large percentage of these prosecutions are for insurance fraud. Any material lie or misrepresentation on an insurance claim is a felony. The insurance companies have investigators who compile the evidence and then turn it over to the District Attorney. Unfortunately, even withdrawing a false insurance claim won’t prevent criminal prosecution, as the D.A. gets funding from insurance companies to prosecute these cases.
Other Crimes Charged Along With Fraud
Fraud is often filed along with other charges, including forgery, theft, conspiracy, money laundering, or embezzlement. Most of these charges can be either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the amount of money or property involved, the suspect’s criminal record, and other specifics of the crime.
Computer Crime Charges in California
Thanks to the computerization of our modern society and easy access to sensitive data via the internet, white collar crimes no longer have to be performed in the office. These activities are now performed by people of all backgrounds and classes and from any location.
Types of Computer Crimes
The San Diego District Attorney has an entire unit dedicated to investigating computer crimes, identity theft and financial crimes, meaning that if you are charged with one of these offenses, there is likely already quite a bit of evidence against you.
Computer crimes include using someone else’s device without permission, implementing a ransomware scheme, doxing, swatting, online stalking, and child molestation. Whether you have been accused of an internet sex crime or stalking someone online, working with a white collar crimes lawyer is essential to protecting your rights. If the police search your cell phone, computer, or another device illegally, this evidence could be inadmissible, but you’ll need a skilled criminal defense attorney to ensure that happens.
Financial and Theft Crimes
A good portion of white collar crimes involves the theft of money or property through non-violent methods such as fraud, insider trading, blackmail, or embezzlement, as well as other related crimes such as tax evasion, identity theft, or forgery. When someone is deprived of property through fraud or other means, petty or grand theft charges will likely be filed as well, based on the property’s value.
Penalties for Theft Offenses
While petty theft is always a misdemeanor, grand theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Your choice of San Diego criminal defense attorney can often mean the difference between the two. Aside from prison or jail time, these crimes usually require you to pay restitution to the victim.
Consequences of White Collar Convictions
The penalties you can face for white collar charges will depend on the specific offense you have been accused of. In some circumstances, a lawyer may be able to have minor financial crimes reduced to misdemeanors likely to result in probation, whereas felony charges are likely to end in lengthy prison terms lasting decades.
Even if you avoid incarceration altogether though, having a criminal conviction on your record can still hurt your future by making it much more challenging to get a worthwhile job. Many white collar offenses are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which means a conviction can result in the loss of any professional licenses you may possess.
Don’t Underestimate the Financial Penalties
The monetary consequences of white collar crimes can be devastating. Aside from the penalties associated with the crime, sentences often require repayment to any victims. Even corporations can face criminal charges, and the financial penalties are sometimes enough to bankrupt the whole business.
Call A Lawyer Immediately to Fight the Charges
If you have been accused of a crime of this nature, you must contact a skilled San Diego white collar defense attorney as soon as possible. Peter M. Liss can help protect your rights during the investigation and prosecution of the offense.