White Collar Crime FAQ

White collar crime refers to crimes that are non-violent and often financial in nature. White collar crimes are often committed by professionals for illegal monetary gain and carry serious penalties including life in prison for the most serious illegal acts.

Those accused of white collar criminal acts or under suspicion for financial or business misdeeds must understand white collar crime laws in order to successfully navigate the criminal justice system and achieve a favorable outcome.

Below are answers to common questions about white collar crimes to help you gain a better understanding of the laws related to business crimes.

What types of crimes are considered white collar crimes?

Common white collar crimes include bribery, embezzlement, public corruption, bank and commercial fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud and violations of RICO laws.

If a person takes advantage of his/her financial or professional position to commit a wrongful act for personal gain, the wrongful acts often constitute white collar crimes.

Are white collar crimes misdemeanors or felonies?

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes with potential terms of incarceration at one year or less. Felony convictions carry longer periods of incarceration, larger fines and more serious penalties.  Most white collar crimes are felonies. However, those who misappropriate small amounts of money or commit minor victimless criminal acts may be charged with a misdemeanor.

Will I go to jail?

If you are convicted of a white collar crime, you may be sentenced to a term of incarceration. However, you can defend the charges with the help of an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney

Is my crime a federal or a state crime?

Many white collar crimes are illegal under the federal criminal code and violators may face federal charges. In some cases, such as tax fraud, only federal courts have jurisdiction (legal authority) over the criminal matter. In other situations, either a federal or state court may prosecute legal violations.

Federal crimes are generally more serious and carry harsher penalties and longer jail terms. Not every criminal lawyer in Florida is permitted to or equipped to argue on behalf of a client before the federal court.

Do I need a Florida white collar criminal defense lawyer?

A Florida white collar criminal litigation law firm can represent your rights, helping to protect your constitutional rights; prepare a defense; keep illegally obtained evidence out of court; negotiate a plea bargain and perform other tasks essential to a successful defense.

Podhurst Orseck’s attorneys are former prosecutors and award-winning lawyers. Since its founding nearly 50 years ago, Podhurst Orseck has placed a premium on client service, helping clients to achieve a favorable outcome.