While most crime is as old as civilization, “white collar crime” is largely a byproduct of a technologically connected world. As stated in Florida law, white collar crimes encompass a wide array of felony acts, including wire fraud, computer-related crimes, the exploitation of elderly people, forgery and counterfeiting, fraudulent practices, bouncing checks, bribery of public officials, and racketeering.
Unfortunately, white collar crime has the reputation for being one of the “soft” crimes—crimes for which the penalties are light and the effects are temporary. Nothing could be further from the truth. People who commit white collar crime are liable to have all of their assets seized to pay restitution, rendering them devoid of cash and unable to find employment after imprisonment. Don’t be fooled—white collar crime charges are serious, and how your trial ends will determine the rest of your life. There's no reason to risk your future by not calling a lawyer.
Perhaps the myth of lenient sentences come from the fact that many white collar crime defendants don’t suffer the maximum sentence under the law. In most cases, the judge will have “sentencing guidelines” that influence whether or how long you’re imprisoned for. That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook—it’s smarter to defend yourself against what’s possible, not what’s likely.
Maximum sentencing for white collar crimes are as follows:
In 2001, Florida lawmakers passed the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act, which created a class of charges called “aggravated white collar crime.” Aggravated white collar crime is when any person commits two white collar offenses that are not isolated (meaning they are similar in intent, accomplices, methods, results, or any other distinguishing characteristics). The Act stipulates that if a person commits aggravated white collar offenses against 20 people, 10 elderly people, or a state government entity, it is tried as a first-degree felony, but with a fine of $500,000.
Keep in mind that these fines and punishments are separate from a defendant’s requirement to forfeit profits made from their illegal operations or to make restitution to the victims. Apart from the criminal proceeding, defendants may also be sued in a civil claim for the losses they caused. However, your first priority should be your criminal case—paying back a plaintiff is far different from suffering prison time.
At Rudenberg & Glasser, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale white collar defense attorneys have helped thousands of clients achieve acquittals or dismissals. We have helped lower the charges against our clients, thereby lowering the fines and sentences they were facing. Our team has the strategies and tactics necessary to protect your future and your assets. All you need to do is call our firm at any time, 24 hours a day.
Call (954) 543-1788 today for a free review of your case—call us as soon as possible.