White-Collar Defense Attorney Sometimes referred to as “professional crime” or career-related crime, the phrase “white-collar” crime is typically considered to be illegal acts that use either concealment, deceit, or a corruption of trust that don’t involve violence. This is why criminal charges such as embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, forgery, business crimes, or computer related cyber crimes fall under the large umbrella of white-collar offenses.
As with any other crime, deciphering through the evidence will be critical. But with white-collar offenses, the lion’s share of evidence will come in the form of electronic discovery (emails, text messages, Internet records, phone bills, etc.). Similarly, human nature can the reasons behind misguided allegations, as well as bias and retaliation. In a work setting environment, co-workers may devise short-sighted schemes to hurt others. With charges like embezzlement, there can be bona fide excuses and mistakes for temporarily taking corporate property or the assets of a business. These issues become the bread and butter of white-collar investigations. Computer related crimes (or “cyber crimes”) are even more involved with respect to electronic evidence that often leads to both prosecution and defense in having to hire forensic experts to decide where the line should be drawn between legal and illegal activity.
Some people think erasing or destroying evidence (whether they did any wrong or not) is one of the first things they should do. Unfortunately, even innocent people can look like they’ve done wrong where they try to “cover-up” anything. The courts have allowed specific instructions to juries that where there is evidence of concealment or attempts to run away from law enforcement or detection from authorities they may consider “consciousness of guilt” in determining whether or not someone is guilty.
The better route is to contact an experienced attorney and to gather all contacts of the individuals who may have better access to your electronic or business records (your accountant, computer programmer, IT professional, etc.). That way, your defense can begin with a better understanding of what evidence is being used against you and you can organize all of your communications in a way so that the larger more accurate picture can be presented.