White Collar Crime Lawyer San Francisco CA
Like many large cities in California, San Francisco has its share of white collar crime and our lawyer has the experience necessary to handle a wide range of cases. If you have already been arrested or convicted of a white collar crime but would like to have the conviction removed from your criminal record, The Morales Firm can help you. We help San Francisco residents get their criminal record expunged or convictions sealed. If you do not take this step, your existing criminal record can prevent you from getting a great job, housing, and cause you public embarrassment.
An aggressive white collar crime lawyer in San Francisco, CA from The Morales Firm can help prevent your one-time mistake from punishing you over and over again. Call us today to find out more. We offer a free one-time consultation which will offer you the opportunity to ask questions and learn how we can help you.
The Nature of White Collar Crimes
There is some confusion about what qualifies as a white collar crime in San Francisco, CA, as our lawyer can tell you. A white collar crime is usually one that is committed by a business professional and is for financial gain. The “white collar” is a reference to the stereotypical white collared shirt worn by businessmen who work in offices. Though that is still the term used by many, it can refer to any number of crimes committed by men as well as women who may or may not work in an office setting. Some of the most common types of white collar crime that occur in San Francisco, CA, and which our lawyer at The Morales Firm represents include the following:
- Insider stock trading
- Identity theft
- Insurance fraud
Who Tends to Commit a White Collar Crime?
Because of the interesting stories portrayed by Hollywood and the media, it is common for people to associate white collar crimes with Wall Street, executives, and high profile workers. While there have been people working in positions of prestige and power to be implicated in white collar crimes, it is certainly not true that these are the only people investigated for being involved in million dollar schemes.
Everyday people can find themselves being charged with a white collar crime. For example, a known case in Ohio involved an employee working at the Clerk of Courts Office who was accused of stealing $100,000. In California, a postal worker faced white collar crime charges after being accused of stealing at least 6,000 credit cards from the mail.
What Courts Are White Collar Crimes Prosecuted In?
As a white collar crime lawyer in San Francisco, CA might tell you, most of these cases are prosecuted in the federal court system. This is because usually there are very large sums of money involved, and a growing number of these cases involve computer-related offenses, and/or the sharing of information across state lines. Many white collar crimes are complex and involve the theft of thousands or millions of dollars. A case like this tends to require enormous resources which state agencies may lack. This is another reason why most cases are handled at a federal level.
That being said it is possible for a defendant to face state and federal charges. Regardless of which system he or she is facing charges in, a white collar crime lawyer in San Francisco, California should be retained as soon as possible for the best possible outcome.
What if I Am the Subject of a RICO Investigation?
If you are being investigated on grounds of RICO, but have not been arrested, you should waste no time in calling The Morales Law Firm. When you call our firm, tell us why you believe you are being investigated for RICO. We’ll help you to understand what you should do and we recommend following our advice. On your own, we would recommend being very careful about talking on the phone or using any electronic messaging devices as they could be wire tapped.
You should also be careful about who you are talking to because you never know if they are working with investigators of the RICO organization. It is very important to talk with a white collar crime lawyer in San Francisco, CA as quickly as possible to protect yourself.
Do You Need a Lawyer
White collar crimes can carry long term prison sentences. Most recently Bernard Madoff received 150 years in prison for a $65 million fraud scheme. Norman Schmid was sentenced to 330 years for fraud. Although both cases are extreme examples of white collar crimes, they provide an understanding that the court is not adverse to handing out severe sentences for financial crimes. You should absolutely have a lawyer from The Morales Law Firm on your side.
White Collar Crime Expungement With the Help of an Experienced San Francisco, CA Lawyer
Having a criminal record can cause difficulties in a person’s life, on a professional as well as personal level. In San Francisco, CA, even being accused of having committed a white collar crime can result in serious repercussions despite having legal representation from a skilled lawyer. If the accusation escalates to a conviction, you may be facing fines as well as prison time. Even after you have served your time and paid your fines, your criminal record can feel like a punishment. After all, nearly anyone can pay for a background check on a person and share that information with a potential employer or even the public. Thankfully, in San Francisco, CA a white collar crime lawyer from our firm can provide you with the solution: expungement. Also known as sealing a criminal record, an expungement erases the criminal accusations against you that resulted in an arrest and possibly a criminal conviction on your record so that they are not viewable to anyone. As a result, when you apply for a job, housing, loan, or to a school, any background check they perform will not return any indication that you were arrested or convicted of the white collar crime lawyer.
There are some eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for expungement. Call our office in San Francisco, CA to schedule a complimentary case review with our white collar crime lawyer.
Credit Card Fraud
Under federal law, white collar crime is defined as a crime that is characterized by “deceit, concealment, or violation of trust” that are not “dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence.” White collar crimes are usually committed in order to obtain some kind of financial gain. One of the most common types of white collar crime that a San Francisco, CA white collar crime lawyer defends against is credit card fraud. Many people do not realize that credit card fraud is classified as a federal crime and the penalties for a conviction can be harsh.
Credit Card Fraud in California
As a San Francisco, CA white collar crime lawyer can explain, there is a list of actions that can be charged as credit card fraud under the California Penal Code. There are a number of statutes that cover credit card fraud: 484e, 484f, 484g, 484h, 484i, and 484j. The following are the criminal activity and potential penalty if convicted:
- Fraudulent possession and transfer of a credit card: This can be found under 484e PC and is prosecuted as grand theft. Depending on the circumstances, this can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. As a misdemeanor charge, a conviction could mean up to one year in county jail and up to a $1,000 fine. As a felony, a conviction could mean up to three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Forging credit card information: This can be found under 484f PC. This can also be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, with convictions the same as fraudulent possession and transfer.
- Fraudulent use of an access card or account information: This can be found under 484g PC. A conviction is based on the value of the items purchased. If the amount is under $950 during a six-month period, the charge will be classified as petty theft and the sentence will be six month in jail and up to $1,000 fine. If the amount exceeds $950, a conviction will be for grand theft.
- Fraudulent retail transactions: This can be found under 484h PC. The charges are the same as above, with petty theft convictions for damages of $950 or less and grand theft convictions for damages more than $950.
- Counterfeiting credit cards: This can be found under 484i PC. Counterfeiting credit cards is charged as a either a misdemeanor forgery or a felony forgery, depending on the circumstances.
- Publishing credit card information: This can be found under 484j PC. This crime is charged as a misdemeanor. Penalty for conviction is a maximum of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Let Us Help
If you have been charged with credit card fraud, contact The Morales Law Firm to speak with a skilled white collar crime lawyer San Francisco, CA clients recommend. Call our office today.