Port Orchard White Collar Crime Lawyer
The term “white-collar crime” covers a broad range of criminal offenses that vary in their severity. What, exactly, is white-collar crime? White-collar crime is a nonviolent crime committed for financial gain. Although these types of crimes were historically committed by people in positions of power, such as CEOs and other corporate executives, today white-collar crime is no longer limited to corruption among big businesses and the super-rich.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a white-collar crime, such as forgery or fraud, you should contact a Port Orchard white-collar criminal defense lawyer immediately. There is usually no time to waste and if you wait until you are charged, it might even be too late. In defending against white-collar crime cases, you need an attorney that understands how to expertly defend your case. Our team of Washington state criminal defenders has experience with fraud and forgery cases throughout Kitsap county. We can help you answer questions you may have, such as
- Are white-collar crimes only committed by the super-rich?
- Are Fake IDs considered fraud or forgery?
- Will I go to jail for making a fake driver’s license?
- Is it illegal to pretend to be a veteran so that I can use the VA hospital?
- Is it illegal to use my friend’s social security card to get myself a job?
This website attempts to explain some of the more common white-collar criminal charges seen in and around Kitsap County. For a more in-depth explanation, or to go over the specifics of your criminal charge, please contact our firm today. We offer a free initial case evaluation to every client so that we can get to know you, and you can get to know us.
Sometimes people worry that their lawyer is going to judge them. They avoid telling the truth — all the details — because they don’t want someone to look down on them. We don’t look down on our clients. We are on your side. The things you tell us are confidential. And we always fight hard to protect your rights and your freedom.
Our team of Port Orchard white-collar defense lawyers has over 50 combined years of experience dealing with criminal cases in Washington. Reach out today so you can begin using our full strength to your advantage.Fraud Charges and Penalties Explained by a Port Orchard Criminal Law Lawyer
There is a wide range of fraud crimes, each of which carries specific penalties. Fraud is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of offenses, ranging from misdemeanor to felony. The legal definition of fraud is “using deceitful or dishonest means to get something of value.”
While the definition is broad, negligent misrepresentation and other situations where fraud may have occurred requires expert legal help as the elements of fraud may vary from case to case. A few examples of Fraud cases our Port Orchard criminal defense attorneys have handled are listed below.
- Criminal Impersonation
- Identity theft
- Check fraud
- Illegal possession of an ID
- Insurance fraud
- Workers compensation fraud
- Welfare fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Payroll fraud
- Mortgage fraud
Criminal Impersonation is one of the most common fraud charges levied in Kitsap County. There are two levels of criminal impersonation charges:
- Criminal Impersonation in the first degree involves a person assuming a false identity with the intent to defraud or pretending to represent an organization or public servant with the intent to defraud. An example of this charge would be a person going door-to-door in a neighborhood, pretending to work for a church to solicit cash for “donations.” This charge is classified as a Class C Felony, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. All felony charges in Port Orchard and the surrounding cities are adjudicated at the Kitsap County Superior Court.
- Criminal Impersonation in the second degree involves a person pretending to be an officer of the law or falsely assumes the identity of a veteran or active duty military member with intent to defraud. An example of this charge would be a person pretending to be a veteran in order to gain the benefits of using the VA hospital. This charge is classified as a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Misdemeanors may be adjudicated at either the Port Orchard Municipal Court or the Kitsap County District Court. The location of your trial is determined by several factors. If you wish to know more about trial locations, please contact our firmfor more information.
Forgery is a common technique in fraud schemes, where the fraud perpetrator uses forged documents in order to gain access to information or materials they should not truly have access to. The term counterfeit is synonymous with forgery.
Washington State statute RCW 9A.60.020 defines forgery as
“(1) A person is guilty of forgery if, with intent to injure or defraud:
(a) He or she falsely makes, completes, or alters a written instrument or;
(b) He or she possesses, utters, offers, disposes of, or puts off as true a written instrument which he or she knows to be forged.”
A written instrument encompasses any paper document with a stamp, seal, badge, trademark, or symbol of value, right, privilege, or identification. A popular example of a forged document would be a fake driver’s license that minors use to procure alcohol.
People assume that because nobody was physically harmed by a forgery perpetrator, the penalties for committing this crime are fairly lenient. This is not true in Kitsap County or anywhere in Washington State. Forgery is considered a Class C Felony, which is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Not all cases of forgery are treated the same. Some are punished more severely because they have a worse impact on victims’ lives. A judge will consider several factors when deciding on the appropriate punishment for a forgery crime, including:
- The value of the property in question
- The number of people who were affected by the crime
- The number of times that the scheme was carried out
- Whether the crime involved a will, mortgage, or deed of trust
In many ways, these penalties can be worse than others because they may permanently disrupt and take away the livelihood of those convicted of them.
Was it all just a misunderstanding, or did you simply get caught up in the moment and make a bad mistake? Theft by forgery is a very common crime, particularly among people who have trouble making ends meet. Under the law, it is also a serious offense that carries stiff penalties and long-term consequences. Contact our Port Orchard criminal defense lawyers about the criminal allegations you now face or if you suspect you are under investigation.How a Port Orchard White Collar Defense Attorney Can Help You
White-collar crimes have been romanticized through movies and television shows as crimes that do not rise to the same level as violent crimes. This has led to a rise in the number of white-collar crimes committed since many individuals do not believe or understand the scope of the criminal act.
If you are being investigated or charged with committing any of these white-collar crimes, you need an attorney that can expertly defend you. No one should face the accusation of being a white-collar criminal alone. White-collar crimes contain the same penalty and punishment ranges as some violent crimes, and therefore a conviction can lead to the same dire repercussions.