If you are under investigation for financial crimes, your money, your professional reputation, and your ability to stay out of jail could be on the line. However, conviction is by no means a foregone conclusion. The complex, often contradictory nature of the legislation pertaining to white-collar crimes leaves ample opportunity for a financial crime attorney to find weaknesses in the case against you. Identifying the best attorney for you is a matter of matching your case with the attorney’s expertise.
When Should You Look for a Financial Crime Attorney?
When You Want to Run a Compliance Program
Many business professionals find that it pays to enlist a financial crimes lawyer before any crime has been committed. Financial institutions and individuals conducting monetary transactions are responsible for upholding numerous government regulations and state laws, many of which change year to year without notification. Many law firms offer compliance training programs that can save your organization both legal fees and the resources you would need to allocate towards damage control in the event of a white-collar crime conviction. Click here for VA disbility calculator.
For Charges of Fraud or Money Laundering
Many financial crimes fall into the category of fraud or any kind of deception that is intentionally done for material gain. A fraud case could involve embezzlement of funds, dishonest coding for medical services, or forgery on a mortgage application. Money laundering, or the practice of concealing the true origin of funds, is a financial crime that is related to fraud because a cover-up is often needed after money was acquired via illegal measures.
For Charges of Cybercrimes
Cybercrime is a relatively new area of the law that deals with identity theft, catfishing, and the dissemination of false information with the purpose of stealing funds or directing them away from their intended use. Either individuals or organizations like businesses can be accused of cybercrimes.
For Charges of Anti-Trust Law Violations
Anti-trust laws like the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act exist to prevent corporations from structuring themselves in a way that unfairly monopolizes the market at the expense of the economy. All mergers and acquisitions must comply with anti-trust laws, and violations can be prosecuted civilly. If the Sherman Act is violated, criminal charges are also available.
For Other White Collar Crime Charges
Other types of charges that usually require the expertise of a financial crimes lawyer to overcome include:
- Tax evasion
- Insider dealing
How Can Your Attorney Defend Your Case?
There are many defense strategies that financial crime lawyers in Houston can use. Most financial crimes require the prosecution to prove that the defendant acted with the intent to deceive, leaving room for a defense strategy that is based on lack of intent, insanity, or incapacity. Sometimes, a defense attorney will focus on casting doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses or the viability of the evidence that is presented against you.
Additionally, because complex financial schemes involve multiple individuals, it is sometimes possible to shift the blame away from the defendant. In many cases, negotiating a repayment plan can help avoid criminal charges altogether.
How to Choose the Right Attorney for You
Look for the Right Experience
The experience level and professionalism of your attorney will be a big factor in the outcome of your case. Financial crime is highly nuanced, and it is important to work with an attorney who specializes in white-collar defense strategies as opposed to a jack-of-all-trades lawyer.
Consider State, Federal, and International Expertise
It is important that the lawyer you choose understands all of the state and federal statutes that could pertain to your case. If the charges against you involve multinational corporations and the transfer of funds outside the U.S., your lawyer should be prepared to take on a case involving international laws as well.
Read Reviews and Schedule a Consultation
When you are looking for an attorney, read some of their reviews on Google and Yelp. Scheduling a consultation is a good way to ask them if they are willing to go to trial, and how much of the case they plan on handling themselves. During the consultation, try to get a sense of whether or not the lawyer will take the time to understand all the details of your case, and if the defense strategies he or she proposes seem well-grounded.
Choosing a lawyer is a crucial step toward building a successful financial crimes defense case. After you identify a lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours in the past, you can evaluate his or her professionalism and the ease with which he or she communicates. Finding a lawyer who is a good match for you can potentially save you from incurring heavy fines and jail time, as well as make your case go as efficiently as possible.