White-collar crime is a blanket term that is frequently used to describe nonviolent business-related crimes that tend to be financially motivated. While the definition is fairly innocuous, the cost of a conviction can be deceptively high. If you are facing a charge that falls into the category of white-collar crime, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Lampasas criminal attorney on your side.
The Origins of the Term
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the term white-collar crime was first used in 1939 when the president of the American Sociological Society voiced concern over the criminological community’s focus on low-status offenders and so-called street crimes. He explained that crimes that are committed by respectable people in positions of considerable status in the course of their jobs did not get the attention they deserved, and a new category of crime was born.
Common Categories of White-Collar Crimes
White-collar crimes come in nearly every shape and size, but the most common categories include:
Federal tax offenses, which can include willfully failing to collect taxes, making false returns, violating laws related to wage withholding, and more
Embezzlement, which is the misappropriation of funds entrusted to one or the misappropriation of funds that belong to one’s employer
Financial fraud, which can include credit card fraud, securities fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and much more
Cybercrimes, which are crimes that are either committed via the internet or that are aided by one form or another of computer technology
The charges that loosely fall under the category of white-collar crimes are closely associated with very serious penalties, fines, and social stigma that can utterly derail the life you have built for yourself.
The Legal Consequences of a Misdemeanor White-Collar Offense
Consider the following sentencing parameters for those white-collar crimes in the State of Texas that only reach misdemeanor status:
If the amount of value involved in the alleged white-collar crime is less than $50, it is a Class C misdemeanor, and a conviction can lead to fines of up to $500.
If the amount of value involved in the alleged white-collar crime ranges from $50 to $500, it is a Class B misdemeanor, and a conviction can lead to fines of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.
If the amount of value involved in the alleged white-collar crime ranges from $500 to $1,500, it is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction can lead to fines of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to a year.
The penalties and fines become considerably more serious from here.