In Pennsylvania, white collar crime charges can result in serious consequences. You may have been caught off guard with a white collar crime charge, especially if you believe you were operating under the law. While there are various circumstances that can result in a white collar crime charge, they all share certain elements: monetary or positional gain. Whether it is a form of fraud, embezzlement, or operating a business deceptively, white collar crime can be charged to anybody using deceptive or fraudulent methods for professional or personal gain.
If you or a loved one were recently accused of a white collar crime, you should treat the charges with the same seriousness you would treat a violent crime charge. White collar crime charges can result in serious criminal penalties and have the potential to derail your professional aspirations. The last thing you want to do is put yourself at the mercy of the court. You should consult with a white collar crime lawyer as soon as possible. There are many avenues of defense that an experienced attorney can take advantage of. At SMT Legal, attorneys have a wealth of experience with Pennsylvania law and white collar crime cases. Using this knowledge, our legal team will mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.
Penalties for White Collar Crime in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the penalty for white collar crimes is determined by the fraudulent profit stemming from the offense. White collar crimes can range from third degree misdemeanor charges to felonies of the first degree. As with most criminal charges, penalties increase for multiple offenses.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor of the third degree for a white collar crime, you could receive 12 months of imprisonment and $2,000 in fines. Fines increase to $5,000 and jail time doubles for misdemeanors of the second degree. First degree misdemeanor charges stemming from a white collar crime can result in five years imprisonment and double the fines of a second degree misdemeanor. Felony charges carry significantly higher fines and larger jail sentences, with the most severe penalties carrying a potential 20 years in prison.
Aside from the criminal consequences, white collar crime charges can result in a myriad of personal and professional consequences. You will no longer be eligible for government jobs. You may also have difficulty pursuing higher education, as admission offices will have access to your criminal record. You could also lose your right to own firearms and participate in elections. Virtually every avenue for advancement in your life could be hindered by a white collar crime charge.