Many portions of South Carolina’s criminal code are concerned with the regulation of people who are servants of the state. Still others aim to regulate the financial industry and allow customers to have faith that their money is in good hands. These laws prohibit activities that are classified as white-collar crimes.
While these offenses are not acts of violence, many of them are still felonies in the eyes of the law. This means that a conviction could result in severe financial penalties and force you to serve over a year in prison. A Charleston white-collar defense lawyer is dedicated to helping you to avoid this outcome. A reliable attorney is prepared to work from day one to protect both your freedom and your reputation in the community.
White-collar crimes tend to involve the alleged misappropriation or use of money. However, this extends beyond the traditional concept of theft. If a prosecutor is bringing charges forward that fall under the umbrella of a white-collar crime, they generally believe that the misappropriation occurred after a defendant was in a position of trust.
Many white-collar crime accusations involve public officials. These may include allegations of the embezzlement of public funds under South Carolina Code § 16-13-210. Here, the prosecutor believes that a public official or employee used public money for a non-approved purpose. Public officials may also face charges related to the acceptance of bribes. According to S.C. Code § 16-9-220, it is illegal to accept anything of value with the understanding that it will change the acceptor’s vote, opinion, or judgment. A Charleston white-collar defense attorney could provide more information about many of the accusations that prosecutors may bring against public officials.
Prosecutors may bring allegations involving supposed white-collar crimes against any member of the community. This is because almost every person can place themselves into a position of trust in the eyes of others and cause serious financial harm if they act illegally. One possible example is S.C. Code § 16-13-15, which makes it a crime to use a forged or altered diploma. For example, a person might proclaim themselves to be a certified accountant in order to gain control of client funds through the use of fake credentials.
People may also face charges related to their roles as financial advisors or planners. S.C. Code § 16-13-230 says that it is a felony to breach the trust of clients with fraudulent intent. In addition, similar laws prohibit the theft of bonds, securities, or other financial assets.
A Charleston white-collar defense lawyer could offer their services to individuals facing these accusations. They possess the experience and resources necessary to parse out the details of the financial crime allegations and to challenge the legality of police work that led to an arrest.
White-collar crimes generally allege violations of the public trust or the theft of assets and financial holdings. While these do not involve violence, they are still serious accusations that can have severe consequences upon conviction. Whether you are a public servant facing allegations of abuses of office or a private citizen with charges related to the misuse of money, a Charleston white-collar defense lawyer may be able to help.
An attorney fights to protect both your freedom and reputation in the community. This includes providing a robust defense in court, as well as protecting your ability to continue serving the public or working in your chosen profession. Reach out to our team now to learn more.