Though white-collar crimes are non-violent, they are still criminal offenses. As such, those who face such charges may receive serious penalties, including jail time.
However, it may be possible to build a strong defense against white-collar charges. In fact, parties often utilize a few common defenses.
Lack of intent or understanding
For a white-collar charge to stand, the prosecution must prove a few assertions. One of the main assertions is that the party committed the crime intentionally. Therefore, if a party is unaware that he or she commits an offense, for instance, an assistant or accountant completing financial paperwork in accordance with the files provided, said party would not be guilty of financial statement fraud. On the other hand, the party who knowingly provided falsified documents becomes accountable.
Force or coercion
Sometimes, parties may know what they do, but may feel that they have no choice. In such cases, those individuals may be able to utilize a defense of duress. A common example is a party who commits the white-collar offense to prevent bodily harm to him or herself or loved ones. In some cases, individuals may feel coersed into performing illegal activities by parties seeking to catch them in the act. For those who can prove such cases, a defense of entrapment may be plausible.
Altered mental state
As with most criminal charges, the court may be lenient towards parties who commit crimes in an altered mental state. However, it is important to note that such leniency usually comes with other forms of punishment or detainment, outside the usually penalties parties face. For instance, a party who successfully argues a plea of insanity will likely face sentencing inside a mental health facility.
Building a strong defense with one or a few of the above dense options may aid certain parties in beating their charges. Understanding the applicable laws may prove beneficial, as well.