Lafayette White Collar Crimes Attorney
Bold and Aggressive Lawyers Defending You in Court
Most white collar crimes are financial crimes performed by businesspeople. If you are facing white collar crime charges, you will need an experienced lawyer to defend you against harsh accusations. There are many types of white collar crimes charged in Louisiana, and Precht Law Firm can defend you against the following charges:
When you work with Precht Law Firm, we will explore the details of your situation to determine the prosecutor’s potential case against you and help you plan your next steps, whether this means negotiating a plea on your behalf to lower the charges and penalties or putting up an aggressive fight in trial.
Schedule a free consultation with Precht Law Firm online or at (337) 201-9119
to get started on your defense.
Embezzlement Laws in Louisiana
One common and significant white collar crime in Louisiana is embezzlement. Embezzlement is a form of theft that involves someone who was entrusted to manage someone else’s money or property. That is, the person has legal access to another’s property or funds, but they commit embezzlement when they steal some or all of those assets.
The sentencing for this white collar offense depends on the defendant’s prior criminal history and how much was allegedly stolen:
- Less than $750 – misdemeanor with up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000
- $750-$5,000 – felony with up to 5 years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines
- $5,000-$25,000 – up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- $25,000 or more – 5-20 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines
Note that previous convictions could result in longer prison sentences.
Another common white collar crime is bank fraud, which occurs when someone knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to:
- defraud a financial institution;
- obtain any of the monies, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by or under the custody or control of a financial institution by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, practices, transactions, representations, or promises.
Upon conviction, a person could face imprisonment for up to 10 years with or without hard labor and possibly fined up to $100,000. An offender could also be ordered to make full restitution to the entity who has suffered a financial loss due to the act.
What Is Forgery?
Forgery is a type of white-collar crime in Louisiana that involves falsifying, using, or possessing a false document with the intention of defrauding someone.
How to Prove Forgery in Court
To prove forgery in court, you must hire a forensic document examiner or handwriting expert to look at the forged documents. They must create a written report of their findings, court exhibits for the trial, and testimony. Their report must show the differences in writing -- any evidence of tremors, tracing, and other differences.
In addition to this, to prove forgery, you must be able to show:
- There was an intent to defraud the victim
- The defendant knew that the document was forged
- The defendant altered a document so that it was purported to
- be the act of another person who did not actually authorize it in the first place, for example: using a blank check from someone’s checkbook and forging their signature
- have been executed a different date, time, place, or number sequence than when it actually was executed, for example: changing the date on a document
- be a copy of an original document when no original exists in the first place, for example creating a false copy of your auto insurance policy, when you are actually not covered
Louisiana Forgery Laws
Forgery is a significant crime that encompasses a number of different fraudulent acts related to white collar offenses. In Louisiana, forgery may occur under a number of circumstances involving particular kinds of documents. However, to convict an individual of forgery, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- altered, made, completed, executed, or authenticated any writing so that the writing claimed to:
- be the act of another person who did not authorize that act (e.g., forging someone’s signature);
- have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case (e.g., changing the date on a will to make it seem to be the most recent); or
- be a copy of an original when no such original existed;
- issued, transferred, registered the transfer of, passed, published, or otherwise used a writing that was forged in any of the above ways; or
- possessed a writing that was forged in any of the ways described above, with the intent to use it to defraud someone.
So, acts that count as a forgery charge must have two characteristics – they must be legally significant and must be false. Note that the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant acted with the specific intent to defrauding someone. However, even if they did not succeed, the mere intent to defraud is enough to warrant a charge of forgery.
In Louisiana, forgery usually incurs a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison. If the crime involves knowingly using a forged academic record, the penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail. Offenses involving the making or distributing of forged insurance documents will lead to a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison.
Contact the professionals at Precht Law Firm to schedule an appointment and learn more about Louisiana forgery laws.
Seek an Experienced Attorney Immediately
In the face of criminal accusations, the state has many resources that will work against you. As a result, it is important that you seek an experienced legal professional to combat your white collar charges and ensure that you have the opportunity to a fair fight in court. Precht Law Firm is a client-focused firm that will put its years of experience and dedicated knowledge on your side to defend your rights.
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