The number of white-collar crimes has been on a steady rise in the past few years. These are non-violent crimes in the corporate world usually committed for monetary gain. Common white-collar crimes include tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering.
The government sets out to prove the essential elements of the crime including causation, criminal intent, and an unlawful act. Without a criminal defense lawyer from Lynnwood to help you get an acquittal, you are almost sure of a conviction. Here are some defenses your lawyer might suggest.
1. Mistake of fact
The government must demonstrate that you knew the facts that make your conduct illegal for you to get convicted. The “mistake of fact” defense proves that you were not aware that your actions were unlawful. This then negates the existence of any criminal intent, which is one element that constitutes a crime.
This happens when a government actor gives an individual the chance to commit a crime, which he or she would not have committed were it not for this opportunity. In this defense, your lawyer must prove that you had no predisposition to commit the criminal act were it not for the government’s bait. Along with other defenses, an entrapment defense can get you an acquittal.
For duress to work for you as a defense, your lawyer should prove the presence of several things. You must have encountered a severe threat of death or bodily harm. The threatened injury should also have been more significant compared to that caused by the criminal action. Lastly, for you to use duress for your defense, the threat you faced should have been inescapable and immediate.
A white-collar crime conviction comes with hefty penalties for corporations and individuals. These include home detention, supervised release, prison sentences, monetary fines, and court-ordered compensation. The above defenses, when handled by a seasoned criminal defense attorney, can help you avoid all these penalties.