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People entrusted to care for others’ finances have significant responsibilities. This includes private citizens, public figures, and elected officials. In every situation, these parties must only use the money under their control for the intended purpose. They must act in good faith to protect the interests of others.
If law enforcement and prosecutors believe you have failed to uphold this obligation, you could face white collar criminal charges. These are serious allegations that could have a profound impact on your freedom and professional life. In these scenarios, you need legal counsel from the relentless attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group. A Tolleson white collar lawyer at our firm can help you mount an effective defense and protect your rights in court.
In general, a white collar crime describes an incident that affects the public welfare or finances of others. One typical example is embezzlement. Under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1802, police officers and prosecutors may allege that a person had the authority to hold another’s money or property but misused it. This can include elected officials and public employees with access to accounts. Private citizens can also face accusations of similar conduct.
White collar accusations may also involve behavior that appears to breach the public trust. These charges mainly apply to elected officials—for instance, the acceptance of a bribe under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-2602. Elected officials should be free to represent their constituents’ interests on an even playing field. Accepting cash or anything of value with the understanding that it will change a person’s vote or opinion is illegal. Our experienced Tolleson attorneys can provide more information about the specific white collar charges a defendant faces.
White collar crimes fall into two main categories. Many are misdemeanors, meaning a conviction can result in a jail sentence of no more than six months and a fine of up to $2,500.
More serious accusations are felonies. Here, the court is likely to impose a prison sentence upon conviction and can issue more significant fines. For example, a bribery conviction is a class 4 felony. Even if this is a person’s first felony conviction and mitigating factors exist, state law requires a prison sentence of at least one year. Aggravating factors in similar circumstances may lengthen this sentence to 3.75 years.
The potential penalties for a white collar crime conviction vary case by case. Our seasoned white collar lawyers in Tolleson can help determine the possible consequences in a specific case and formulate defenses to mitigate the potential penalties.
Every moment following an arrest for a white collar crime is critical. These cases come with the potential for harsh penalties upon conviction and may also affect your image in the public eye. It is essential that you act quickly to regain control of the situation.
A Tolleson white collar lawyer can provide the assistance you need to protect your way of life. Grand Canyon Law Group works by your side to defeat the prosecutor’s case and preserve your best interests. We can also take the necessary steps to protect your reputation in the community. Give us a call now to get started.