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What Distinguishes A State From A Federal White Collar Crime?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

White-collar crimes are serious offenses chargeable under state and federal laws. Perpetrators at the individual or corporate level commit these crimes for financial gain. Although these crimes do not involve violent acts, convictions carry potentially harsh penalties, including fines and prison time.

The nature of the crime determines its prosecution at the state or federal level.

What determines a state conviction?

A white-collar crime can result in a Virginia state conviction if it occurs within state borders. Examples may include:

  • Embezzlement by an accountant who steals from a business’s bank account
  • Money laundering by a small business owner who hides drug sales income by mingling it with legitimate business income
  • A salesperson who offers fake services to gain access to someone’s credit card information
  • Forgery by someone who signs someone else’s name on mortgage documents
  • Welfare fraud by someone who does not disclose income to qualify for government benefits

What determines a federal conviction?

White-collar crimes include a wide range of criminal activities and may qualify as federal felonies when they affect a broad segment of the population. In addition, federal white-collar crimes typically involve large dollar amounts warranting complex investigations using both state and federal government resources. The federal government usually coordinates the conviction and sentencing for these crimes.

What determines a sentence?

Virginia has sentencing guidelines for white-collar crimes ranging from low-dollar value embezzlement misdemeanors with minimal fines to high-value felonies resulting in steep fines and lengthy prison sentences. However, federal white-collar crime convictions usually lead to more severe penalties under federal sentencing guidelines.

Whether you face misdemeanor white-collar crime charges in a Virginia courtroom or a felony conviction in federal court, you need a powerful defense to withstand the onslaught of government resources working against you.