What is White Collar Defense?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 23 March 2020
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A white collar defense is a phrase used for the legal defense of people accused of white collar crimes. Some lawyers specialize in handling white collar defense cases in particular and defend clients who have been accused of crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery, and forgery. White collar crimes also include counterfeiting, money laundering, and tax evasion. Though any defense lawyer may prove helpful in a white collar criminal case, those who have long experience with these types of cases may be more capable and inspire more confidence.

The individuals who typically need white collar defenses are often those least expected to engage in illegal activity. Those who commit white collar crimes are often individuals in respectable occupations and in positions of authority. For example, white collar crimes are often committed by executives, business owners, and public officials. Their crimes are not usually committed using force or violence. Instead, their crimes involve lies, manipulation, fraud, coercion, stealth, cheating, and theft. Despite the fact that white collar crimes are not violent, they are serious and do have victims.


When an individual has been accused of a white collar crime, he typically has the right to a defense in court, just as individuals accused of other types of crimes do. Often, these individuals seek the help of skilled, experienced lawyers who understand the laws regarding these types of crimes and know the penalties their clients may face. Many white collar crime lawyers have learned by experience the best strategies for defending their clients against white collar charges.

An individual who has been accused of a white collar crime may need a lawyer’s help as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that arrests may not happen right away when it comes to white collar crimes. When a person commits another type of crime, however, he may be arrested right away. In the case of white collar crimes, law enforcement officials may spend a significant amount of time investigating an individual before he becomes aware that he is suspected of committing a crime. As such, an individual may have a good deal of catching up to do in order to mount an effective white collar defense.

In many cases, white collar crimes are punishable with years in prison as well as fines. A person who is convicted of a white collar crime may also stand to lose his job or the right to practice his profession. A solid white collar defense may help an individual to avoid conviction or minimize such penalties.



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