Port Charlotte White Collar Crime Lawyer

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Port Charlotte White Collar Crime Attorney

Despite the fact that white collar crimes in Florida are considered non-violent, they are no less serious offenses, and convictions can carry significant penalties. If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime, it is important that you speak with a qualified and experienced Port Charlotte white collar crime attorney as soon as possible.

A skilled lawyer may be able to minimize potential penalties by mitigating or even avoiding conviction. By challenging the evidence, arguing for a lack of intent in committing the crime, or demonstrating that all business practices were lawful and ethical, your lawyer can build an effective defense in your case. It is in your greatest interest to hire an attorney, like those at Ruhl & Lux, P.A., early in your case.

White Collar Crime Representation in Port Charlotte, FL

The attorney team at Ruhl & Lux, P.A., has a wide range of experience handling criminal cases for our clients. Our time in and out of the court system has enabled us to establish the most effective strategies in defending your case. We understand which arguments to prioritize and how to present information in a demonstrative manner.

White collar crime encompasses a vast array of complex regulations and legal statutes. Our lawyers maintain a comprehensive knowledge of all related legal matters pertaining to your case and can guide you through the procedures. Let a member of our team review the details of your case, counsel you on available defense options, and recommend the next steps.

What Are White Collar Crimes?

Florida classifies non-violent criminal offenses committed primarily for financial gain and typically committed in business and professional settings and contexts as white collar crimes. White collar crimes are generally characterized by deceit, concealment, and other violations of trust rather than threat, force, or violence. Some of the most common white collar crimes committed in Florida include:

  • Fraud is an intentional act of deception done with the intent of acquiring unlawful gain or depriving the victim of their rights. It usually involves knowingly misrepresenting material facts, a reasonable reliance by the victim on the information, and a quantifiable, but not necessarily financial, loss by the victim as a direct result of the fraud. This can include bank fraud, insurance fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, and healthcare fraud.
  • Wrongfully appropriating funds or property that has been entrusted to an individual’s care constitutes a criminal offense known as embezzlement. In most cases, this happens in an employment or corporate setting.
  • Money laundering. Money laundering refers to the practice of making money that has come through criminal activity and appears instead to have been generated by lawful and legitimate income sources.
  • Identity theft. Obtaining credit, loans, or other financial gain by using another person’s name and personal information is an act of fraud known as identity theft.

An aggravated white-collar crime in Florida is one in which two or more white collar crimes are committed with the same intent, same accomplices, same victim, similar results, or similar methods of execution. The crimes must not be isolated incidents but must be interrelated and have distinguishing characteristics. Aggravated white collar crimes are subject to harsher penalties.

Convictions in any one of these or other white-collar crimes require the prosecution to substantially prove several elements, such as intention. Mistakenly providing false information, for instance, is not an illegal act. The law allows for human error. Instead, the prosecution must prove that a defendant had a clear intention to deceive or misrepresent facts for their own material gain.

By hiring a qualified and skilled white collar crimes attorney, you can build an effective defense that considers these elements.

What Is a White-Collar Lawyer?

Lawyers typically focus their areas of practice on only a few related legal topics. This allows them to become especially familiar with the laws and procedures applicable to particular crimes. A white-collar attorney handles non-violent, economically motivated crimes that generally fall under the white collar delineation.

Experienced white-collar lawyers should, therefore, have a deep understanding of both criminal law and the many complex financial and corporate business practices involved in white collar crime cases.

What Are Possible Defenses for White Collar Crimes?

In criminal cases, such as white-collar crime cases, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution to demonstrate guilt over alleged charges. To garner a conviction, they must be able to demonstrate evidence beyond any doubt.

One of the most common and effective defenses to white collar crimes involves challenging, disproving, and discrediting the evidence presented in your case. By effectively arguing that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof in demonstrating all elements of the case, your attorney can help mitigate charges, minimizing any liability in your case. Other defense strategies include:

  • Lack of intention. The most common element to challenge when it comes to disproving the sufficiency of the evidence is that of intention. To be guilty of a white-collar crime, the defendant must have had the intention to commit a crime. It is quite common for an individual to engage in an illegal business act without knowing it. Successfully proving the lack of intention is an effective defense.
  • Your defense may assert that law enforcement unlawfully induced you to commit a crime you would not have otherwise done. This defense focuses on condemning the actions of law enforcement rather than justifying or excusing the actions of the defendant.
  • No misrepresentation of material facts. Since a conviction in fraud cases requires both that facts were misrepresented and that the misinformation was material to the victim’s decision-making, which led to the loss, your defense can argue against either point. Either there was no false information or representation provided, or the information given was unrelated to the victim’s loss.

Ultimately, your defense will be most effectively tailored to address the specific facts of your case. Your attorney can evaluate the facts and evidence in your case and develop an appropriate defense strategy that is personalized to your situation.

What Are the Potential Penalties for White Collar Crimes in Florida?

Florida’s sanctions around white collar crimes follow the state’s efforts to address what they see as a frequent and substantial issue for victims to lose considerable property as the result of deception. The elderly community in Florida is particularly susceptible to becoming victims of fraud. The state, therefore, imposes heavy fines and sentences on those convicted of fraud and other white-collar crimes.

The exact fine amounts and length of prison time imposed for convictions will depend on the nature and severity of the crime, as well as the amount of property loss incurred by the victim(s). In fact, white collar crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The following is a general guide demonstrating penalties for each level at which a white-collar crime can be convicted:

  • Second-degree misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
  • First-degree misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Third-degree felony. A conviction can lead to up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Second-degree felony. A conviction can lead to up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • First-degree felony. A conviction can lead to up to 30 years or life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Aggravated white collar crime (first-degree felony). In addition to the standard penalties, those convicted of aggravated white-collar crime will owe an additional $500,000 in fines or twice the value of the monetary gain or loss, depending on which is greater.

In some cases, a judge may impose probationary terms on an individual convicted of a white-collar crime, such as requiring them to pay restitution to the victim. In contrast to prison time, probation allows the individual to earn the income to pay the restitution. This may not be available in all cases, so talk with your lawyer about potential penalties and options.

Your Port Charlotte White Collar Crime Lawyer

It is imperative that you safeguard your rights and do what you can to avoid conviction, as penalties can severely impact your freedom, your future, and your reputation. The team at Ruhl & Lux, P.A. has the experience and qualifications to represent you in your white-collar crime case.

By working with a member of our team as soon as possible, we can begin building your case early and gather any necessary evidence. Our litigation skills can prove pivotal in court as we work diligently to obtain the most favorable outcome possible in your case. If you’ve been accused of a white-collar crime in Charlotte, Sarasota, or Desoto Counties contact our office today to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Ruhl & Lux, P.A. Call 941-505-7845 or 855-784-5529 today.


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