There are many species of theft and white collar crimes, but there is a common denominator in all of them: The prosecution must prove wrongful intent, usually that the defendant acted with specific intent to unlawfully and permanently deprive a person or business of possession of property.
For example, in a common scenario, where a defendant is accused of cashing a forged check drawn against the account of an elderly person, valued at over $400.00, a number of charges are likely. In that case, the defendant may face charges including elder abuse, burglary, grand theft, check forgery, and possession of a forged check. The prosecution would have to prove wrongful intent for any of the alleged crimes. Each of these felony charges is therefore defensible where the defendant can raise doubt as to his or her intent, that is, that he or she in good faith believed that the check was good and had a lawful claim to the money.
For more information on theft crimes in California, refer to our detailed guide, California Theft Crimes: Understanding the Offenses and Penalties. To learn more about white collar crimes, please read White Collar Crimes in California.
The Punishment Fits the Crime?
San Diego theft and white collar crimes generally have another common denominator: the severity of the crime alleged and the severity of punishment for any conviction usually may be greatly influenced by the amount of the alleged loss. On the other hand, the ability to make restitution (pay back any alleged loss) can make a huge difference in every facet of the case, including whether the defendant may face charges at all, or to the type of charge allowed in a plea agreement if charges are filed.
Settlement as an Option For White Collar Crimes
Crimes involving embezzlement, insurance fraud, workman’s compensation fraud, and alleged real estate scams are varied and have each their own set of complexities. All are obviously document intensive and can take years to unravel. Each type of crime is prosecuted separately by a different division with the District Attorney’s Office. The prosecutor in any particular case may have been assigned to the case from the beginning of the investigation and will have a definite attitude toward what it will take to resolve the matter. As the defense in such a case can take perhaps one year and the expenditure of an inordinate amount of time, energy and money, there are advantages to determining whether your case is the type that can and should settle quickly and with the goal of controlling the outcome as much as possible.
More About Theft and White Collar Crimes
For more information about theft and white collar crimes in California, the following related resources are available:
- California Theft Crimes: Understanding the Offenses and Penalties
- White Collar Crimes in California
- How to Obtain a Dismissal of a Theft Case: Civil Compromise
- Can I Be Arrested for Theft by a Credit or Debit Card in California?
Get Help from a San Diego Theft and White Collar Crimes Attorney
If you are facing theft or white collar crimes allegations, do not hesitate to contact Domenic J. Lombardo, a experienced San Diego theft and white collar crimes attorney, for a roadmap on what to expect as the process unfolds and exactly how we may establish a defense or mitigation of charges and punishment.
Mr. Lombardo provides a free and confidential consultation in cases involving theft and white collar crimes in San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Lemon Grove, National City, Imperial Beach, San Ysidro, El Cajon, La Mesa, Lakeside, Santee, Poway, Escondido, San Marcos, Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, Fallbrook, Spring Valley or anywhere else in San Diego County.