When you think of a crime, you might imagine a violent offense; however, not all crimes are committed in this manner. White-collar crimes, which are not usually violent but are taken just as seriously by the law, pose a substantial risk to the United States economy not to mention individuals and corporations. Insider trading, credit card theft, antitrust violations, and intellectual property theft are among some of the most severe types of white-collar crimes.
What Is a White-Collar Crime?
According to the FBI, white-collar crimes got their name in 1939 and now encompass a wide range of different types of fraud committed by both business and government professionals. These types of crimes are driven by financial gain and you can be prosecuted at both the state and federal level depending on the severity of the crime.
What Are Some Examples of White-Collar Crimes?
Some examples of white-collar crimes include but are not limited to the following:
- Corporate fraud
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion
What Are the Consequences of Committing a White-Collar Crime in Texas?
Most white-collar crimes in Texas are charged as felonies; however, there are some minor offenses which may receive a misdemeanor charge. The circumstances of your case will determine how severe your punishment will be. Offenses against elderly individuals hold more serious consequences. Additionally, if you have a history of criminal convictions, this will also increase the severity of your charge.
It is important to note that if the amount of money you stole or embezzled is over $1,500, the crime goes from a misdemeanor to a felony. Here are some possible charges and consequences of white-collar crimes in Texas:
Theft of $1,500 to $20,000
The consequence of this offense is anywhere between 180 days to 2 years in jail, an extensive fine that could hit $10,000 and a felony offense put on your record.
Theft of $20,000 to $100,000
This offense is considered a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years of prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of $100,000 to $200,000
This is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of more than $200,000
This is the most severe offense, which is a first-degree felony. You could face a 5-to-99-year prison sentence and be hit with a $10,000 fine as well.
You could also face federal charged for the same offense as well. Your federal charges could be more severe as well if you have a criminal history, committed an offense against an elderly individual, caused significant harm to many people, and/or greatly impacted the economy.
Misdemeanor White-Collar Offenses
Felonies are the most serious offenses. You may also be faced with what is known as a misdemeanor offense, which does have less severe consequences but can still have a negative impact on your life. A conviction for a misdemeanor could mean a $500 to $4,000 fine and a 1-year prison sentence.
Class C misdemeanor
You can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if you stole property of less than $50. You might face a fine $500 with no jail time.
Class B misdemeanor
If you stole anywhere between $50 to $500, this is a Class B misdemeanor. You may face a $2,000 fine and a prison sentence of as much as 180 days.
Class A misdemeanor
If you stole an amount of money worth $500 to 1,500, you could face a fine of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to 1 year.
In the event you are charged with a white-collar crime, you want the best criminal defense lawyer you can find as the consequences of a conviction are high.