When you think of criminal offenses, you likely think of crimes that are violent and cause physical harm to others. However, there are many offenses set out in Ohio law that do not involve any type of violence and are solely financially motivated. These offenses are commonly referred to as “white collar crimes.” White collar crimes can be committed by individuals or as part of large-scale corporate schemes and can occur in many ways. One factor that most white collar crimes have in common, however, it that the law allows for harsh sentences if you are convicted of an offense.
Simply because white collar crimes do not involve violence does not mean that law enforcement does not take such crimes extremely seriously. Because of the financial harm that can potentially be caused by white collar schemes, prosecutors aggressively pursue charges and convictions. For this reason, it is essential to have an equally aggressive and effective criminal defense lawyer on your side who understands how to defend against the elements of white collar offenses.
There is a variety of white collar offenses for which you may be charged, including the following:
Each of these offenses has its own specific elements that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. It is critical for your defense attorney to fully understand the laws relating to your specific charge to devise the most effective defense strategy in your case. White collar crimes also often involve a large amount of evidence, especially for long-term schemes or corporate cases. The authorities may be investigating a possible crime long before you even know about it or before anyone is arrested. You need a lawyer with the resources and skill to review all of the evidence against you and challenge it whenever possible.
White collar crimes can involve a bank teller taking $100 from the drawer one time or an ongoing Ponzi scheme that steals millions of dollars from investment clients. Like other types of theft offenses, the possible penalties will largely depend on the amount of money taken and also on the extent of the scheme. For example, the following are the maximum imprisonment terms for embezzlement in Ohio based on the amount taken:
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