Brian J Smith
Keeping White-Collar Criminal Charges Out of the Courtroom
When it comes to the law, offense is sometimes the best defense. Your instinct might be to avoid phone calls and hide under your desk if prosecution is looming, but as a criminal defense attorney Las Vegas NV, I often encourage clients to let me confront charges as soon as possible. That can be especially true if you’re being accused of white-collar crimes.
Let’s start with a brief definition.
It’s not an actual legal term, but white-collar crime is usually thought of as criminal activity committed without the threat of violence. It can therefore include fraud, embezzlement, identity theft and bribery, among many other activities.
The reason you shouldn’t always wait and hope the charges will go away is because they seldom do. You must take concrete action to minimize the threat or even make those accusations disappear.
Start by immediately hiring an attorney and stopping any communications with the police or prosecutors. Your lawyer can start negotiating with the prosecutor’s office on several important fronts.
First, your legal team will focus on finding out if and when charges are coming, and in negotiating your quiet surrender if they are. This means turning yourself in for an arraignment free of the “perp walk” with flashing cameras that might be awaiting you if you’re a locally known business executive or someone not expected to be charged with felonies. This is important because it will keep potential jury members from seeing you in a bad light.
Proactive negotiations can also result in lower bail amounts and avoidance of such harsh conditions as ankle monitoring or house arrest. Then there is plea bargaining to less serious charges. A proactive attorney might initiate these discussions to save everyone from going to trial, reducing jail time or taking it off the table altogether.
Why Negotiations Are Possible
In the movies, prosecutors are always gung ho to head to trial. In real life, they know that as soon as you put a case before a jury, anything can happen. Criminal trials are long, expensive and potentially risky or embarrassing for all parties.
With white-collar crimes, there’s an added reason the prosecution might be highly motivated to negotiate. Juries easily understand such crimes as armed robbery, burglary or murder. I mean the crime itself—not necessarily the guilt or innocence of the accused.
But when it comes to such charges as art forgery, Ponzi schemes, influence peddling or industrial espionage, these allegations can be hard to explain to juries, much less pinning the complex activity on a defendant.
Start With a Phone Call
As an experienced criminal defense attorney Las Vegas NV, my most critical tip is to not wait until you’re arrested. Call me as soon as you get the first inkling that you might face white-collar charges. You’ll find my contact information here.