What Is a White-Collar Criminal Defence and How Does it Work?

Most people know that the term “white-collar crime” refers to crimes involving businesses, but many people do not fully understand what white-collar crimes are.

The term was coined in 1949 by the sociologist Edwin Sutherland to mean a crime that is committed by a person of high social status and respectability within his or her occupation.

Today, white-collar crimes are regarded as nonviolent crimes by businesses or governments that are committed for financial gain.

When people are accused of these types of crimes, they need a white-collar criminal defence. That means getting a lawyer on board who has a wealth of experience and knowledge of white-collar criminal cases.

What do white-collar criminal defence lawyers do?

A criminal defence lawyer can defend people against a wide variety of crimes, such as felonies, misdemeanours, and illegal search and seizures. Find out more about the types of cases a criminal defence lawyer handles on this page.

But if you are charged with a white-collar crime, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who specializes in white-collar criminal law.

Such a lawyer will help to defend you by conducting rigorous investigations, having superb knowledge of industry regulations that pertain to certain white-collar crimes, and coming up with effective strategies and solutions to help you win your case and be found innocent.

The attorneys will interact with federal and local prosecutors, concerned investors, regulatory agencies, the media, and congressional investigators, too.

White-collar criminal defence lawyers can represent clients in grand jury and other government investigations and in federal and state trials. They can launch appeals, conduct internal investigations, and much more.

Basically, when someone accused of a white-collar crime has the right to criminal defence, he or she stands a better chance of being found innocent or getting a lesser sentence.

 How does the process work?

If you are in need of white-collar criminal defence, the first step is to contact a lawyer who specializes in white-collar crimes. You should attend a consultation to gain free advice and explore your options.

Once you hire the attorney, you can discuss your plan of action, and the attorney can begin completing tasks like investigations and contacting relevant parties to build a case.

Your lawyer will then be ready to represent you in court.

Examples of White-collar Crimes

There are various types of white-collar crimes. Here are some of the most common.


Basically, fraud is about deceiving someone to gain money or assets.

In the world of white-collar crimes, common types of fraud are securities fraud and insider trading. Another type of white-collar fraud is when an individual or a company makes money based on false information.


When a professional person knowingly uses funds improperly, he or she is committing embezzlement.

For instance, a real estate agent could use client funds improperly, such as spending them on vacation.

 Money Laundering

The act of money laundering involves filtering money that is illegally obtained in order to make it seem legitimate.

It is not only organized crime that uses money laundering. It is also a common white-collar crime committed by respected businesspeople.

 Tax Evasion

One of the most common white-collar crimes of all is tax evasion. Of course, that simply involves evading paying the tax that is owed.

If an individual business person or a company is found to evade taxes, it could have devastating consequences. If found guilty, you could face financial ruin and even face imprisonment.

So, if you are charged with tax evasion or any other type of white-collar crime, make sure you hire an excellent and experienced lawyer so that you can have the best white-collar criminal defence possible.

Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
On Chain Analysis Data Engineer. Lives in sunny Perth, Australia. Investing and writing about Crypto since 2014.

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