While white-collar crime has always existed in Texas, it has become easier to commit and more prevalent in our online and computer-dominated society. The penalties for a conviction for a white-collar crime can be insurmountable to overcome. Not to mention, most while-collar crimes carry the possibility of jail time and extremely large fines. The right lawyer can be the difference between an investigation being dropped, favorable plea terms, or you and your company being bled dry by penalties and fines. Handling a white-collar case incorrectly can result in the loss of your standing in the community and potentially even your freedom.
If you are a San Antonio business professional who has made a mistake and exercised poor judgment that led to charges for a white-collar crime, it is critical to begin assembling the relevant facts of your case to discuss with an attorney. An attorney can help you sort through your situation and determine what are the best steps for you to get control of your legal situation. Legal counsel can also assist you if you belive you are the subject of an investigation for a crime involving your role as a business owner, agent, or fiduciary. These situations develop quickly so it is ideal that you get an attorney to assist you as quickly as possible.
The attorneys of Austin Hagee Law Firm serve our clients with integrity, discipline, and compassion. Our firm stands ready to defend you when the odds are against you. Contact us online or call us at 210-500-3700 for a free consultation and evaluation of your case to see how we may be able to guide you in your time of need. Don’t let your legal issues destroy your business and future.
At the Austin Hagee Law Firm we strive to help good people get through hard times and look at our work as a calling. Let us know if we can help you or your loved one today.
What are White-Collar Crimes?
White-collar crimes are non-violent, economic crimes, usually committed in a business or government setting, often by above-average earning professionals. There is a long and growing list of offenses classified as white-collar crimes, including:
- Money laundering,
- Identity theft,
- Numerous types of fraud (a partial list includes bank fraud, credit card fraud, corporate fraud, elder fraud, securities fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, telemarketing fraud, and health care fraud.)
- Tax evasion,
- Creative financial crimes, and
- Financial crimes directed by organized crime families or entities.
Some of these offenses are crimes only under Texas law. Others are crimes only under federal laws. Still, others constitute crimes under both Texas and federal law.
Almost always, the motive underlying white-collar crime is financial profit and gain, with the driving belief that there is a minimal risk of being caught and punished. Therefore, these actors always employ deception to achieve their illicit goals.
Federal White Collar Crimes in San Antonio
There are many types of white-collar crimes prosecuted by federal prosecutors. Among the more common are:
- Public corruption,
- Health care fraud,
- Mortgage fraud,
- Securities fraud,
- Money laundering,
- Consumer fraud,
- Corporate fraud,
- Insider trading, and
- Tax evasion.
The receipt of a Federal Target Letter from an Assistant United States Attorney is a strong sign that you are under federal investigation and a warning that federal charges may ultimately be brought against you.
With your physical freedom, and the financial future of both yourself and your family at stake, it is imperative that you contact experienced and financially sophisticated counsel to represent you. Thereafter, your counsel’s first task will be to contact the Assistant U.S. Attorney to better assess the current state of their investigation and start negotiating on your behalf.
Because white-collar criminal defense litigation is highly complex, extremely fact-sensitive, and intensive, you must retain legal counsel that has the manpower and patience to wade through document-intensive discovery.
With a proven record of success in defending against white-collar criminal charges, the Austin Hagee Law Firm, PLLC will fight to defend your rights and future.
What are the Penalties for White-Collar Crimes in Texas?
Federal and Texas state laws provide penalties for white-collar crime convictions. The penalties for white-collar crimes in Texas are set forth in detail at Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code.
This chapter lists a number of the factors that must be considered by a court upon conviction and prior to sentencing, including:
- Whether the individual has a prior criminal history or is a first-time offender,
- The type and nature of the white-collar crime committed,
- The value of the goods and services the offender obtained as a result of his or her actions,
- The number of people who were injured as a result of the offense, and
- Whether any victims of the criminal activity were elderly and were particularly hurt by the offender’s acts.
In ascending order, the Texas Penal Code provides the following penalties for offenses categorized as white-collar crimes:
- A maximum fine of $500 for a conviction for a Class C misdemeanor,
- A maximum fine of $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to 180 days, or both, for a conviction for a Class B misdemeanor,
- A maximum fine of $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year, or both, for a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor,
- A maximum fine of $10,000 and a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years in jail, or both, for a conviction of a state jail felony,
- A maximum fine of $10,000 and a jail sentence of two to ten years, or both, for a conviction of a third-degree felony,
- A maximum fine of $10,000 and a jail sentence of two to twenty years, or both, for a conviction of a second-degree felony, and
- A maximum fine of $10,000 and a jail sentence of five to ninety-nine years or life imprisonment, or both, for a conviction of a first-degree felony.
How can a San Antonio White-Collar Crime Lawyer help your Case?
A skilled white-collar crime attorney can help you in numerous ways. First, he or she must ensure that after charging you with a crime, the government completely meets its burden of proof.
To do so, your attorney will evaluate the strength of the government’s case and then craft suitable defenses to the charges. Or help you develop your evidence to counter the government’s case aginst you.
Thereafter, the attorney will consider retaining experts, such as forensic accountants, to aid in your defense and to expose any potential flaws in the government’s case. Working to properly analyze and present the key information to the jury is imperative to help you bring your strongest defense.
Finally, the attorney will contact the prosecutors on a regular basis, and if the facts of your case so dictate, see if he or she can secure a dismissal or negotiate a favorable plea deal for you.
Contact a San Antonio White Collar Lawyer Today
The Austin Hagee Law Firm, PLLC, has a proven record of successfully defending business and government professionals against charges of white-collar crime and corruption.
Our attorneys possess the sophisticated financial knowledge, negotiating skills, and command of criminal law necessary to defend you to the fullest, be it in federal or Texas state court.
Whether you are under criminal investigation or have already been charged, contact us 24/7 at 210-500-3700 for a free consultation. We will always give your case the full attention it deserves and rigorously defends your interests.