All Phoenix area accusations of a crime deserve a good defense, including white collar crimes. White collar crimes are defined as offenses that are typically committed by those with a high social status or class. The common name refers to the idea that these types of criminals are more likely to wear pressed white collared shirts to work, rather than the blue collared shirts that common laborers wear. Nowadays, there is not as clear of a distinction between someone who is white collared and blue collared, but the distinction in the crimes has remained. Examples of white collar crime includes identity theft, insider trading, fraud, money laundering,computer crime, and forgery. Blue collar crimes, however, refer to the more obvious crimes such as vandalism, theft, and assault. Sometimes it is hard to draw a distinction between white collar crimes and corporate crimes.
The two overlap because many of the opportunities for these crimes are available to people who work in a corporate environment. Corporate crimes typically are those that are committed by a business, while white collar crimes are committed by a single person. Many times, the corporate environment actually shields the white collar criminal from being noticed. Other times, an individual is unjustly accused for a crime that is actually a corporate crime. In complicated cases, the only way to determine rather something was a corporate crime or a white collar crime is to answer the question: who actually benefited from the crime. Most white collar crimes are felonies that will result in prison time. The amount of time a person can expect to serve will depend on the crime he or she is convicted of. In Arizona, some white collar offenses are probation eligible, and could possibly have that in lieu of time in prison. This is an ideal situation for most people accused of this type of crime because it allows them to continue making a living. Forgery is a common white collar crime that is considered a class 4 felony is Maricopa County. Forgery is similar to fraud because it tricks someone, but it is a little more advanced in how it is done. Forgery can include the alterations of items to make them appear more valuable, fake signatures, and criminal impersonation.
As a class 4 felony, a conviction can earn 1 to 15 years in prison. Identity theft is a common crime that can be classified as white collar. Arizona charges related to identity theft include general identity theft, aggravated identity theft, and trafficking identity theft. Identity theft on its own is a class 4 felony, while aggravated identity theft is a class 3 and trafficking identity theft a class 2. These convictions can mean as little as 1 year in prison to more than 30 years of incarceration. Money laundering and computer crimes are two other white collar crimes that can result in prison time. Money laundering is either a class 6 or a class 3 felony depending on its degree. Computer crimes also vary in their classification. They can be charged anywhere from a class 6 felony to a class 2 felony depending on the amount of damage imposed.
Class 6 felonies can serve as little as 90 days in prison and are probation eligible. Because most white collar crimes are considered felonies, crimes committed in Maricopa County will be heard at Maricopa Superior Courts. These courts are located in Phoenix, Mesa, and Surprise. If the charge occurs in other county locations, such as Tempe, Chandler or Gilbert, the case will still be heard in one of the Superior Courts. Our office will represent all Maricopa County area clients, including those in Chandler, Gilbert, and Mesa. If you are accused of a white collar crime, contact our office for the expert help you can use.