Tampa White Collar Crime Lawyer
Nonviolent crimes are not treated leniently in Florida. There are a number of “white collar” crimes involving frauds and swindles that can land a person in trouble with the law. In fact, the Florida legislature has mandated enhanced penalties for many such crimes, especially since scams often target the elderly and their property.
If you have been accused of a white collar crime, or even if you suspect that you are under investigation, it is critical not to panic. Nor should you speak with the police or any law enforcement official without the assistance of a qualified Tampa white collar crime lawyer. You may think you can talk yourself out of a criminal charge by “explaining everything” to the state’s attorney. But that is not how the criminal justice system works.
Indeed, as former prosecutors themselves, attorneys Nicholas G. Matassini and Christina C. Pappas Matassini know how to handle a white collar crimes investigation. In many cases it may be possible to negotiate a more favorable plea, such as reducing a felony to a misdemeanor. But it may also be the prosecutor is overplaying a weak case that will not survive at trial. Whatever your situation, The Matassini Law Firm, P.A., can analyze your case and help you make an informed decision about your defense going forward.
Proven Experience Handling Federal & State Charges
The term “white collar crime” actually covers a wide variety of criminal offenses. Under Florida law, it includes any of the following:
- Identity theft
- Computer-related crimes
- Abuse, neglect, or exploitation of elderly persons or disabled adults
- Forgery or counterfeiting
- Passing bad checks
- Bribery of public officials
- Misuse of public office
- Money laundering
- Use of a fraudulently obtained receipt
- Dealing in stolen property on the Internet
- Medical false billing, i.e. Medicare and Medicaid fraud
- Theft or misappropriation of trade secrets
Most state-level white collar crimes also have a federal counterpart. Federal prosecutors are especially aggressive when it comes to using racketeering and wire fraud laws to target individuals. And if the alleged crime was part of a larger scheme, prosecutors will often charge lower-level participants in an attempt to get them to “flip” on the masterminds.
Contact Our Tampa Law Office If You Need a White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ultimately, prosecutors must still prove that a crime took place. White collar crimes are not victimless, but neither are they hypothetical. It is not enough to prove mistake or incidental deception. Every element of the alleged offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes establishing the defendant possessed the requisite criminal intent and that the alleged victim or victims were actually deprived of their property.
Keep in mind that if a person is convicted of a white collar crime, he or she not only faces the possibility of jail time. The court can also order financial restitution to the victims. This requires a separate hearing following the main trial, and a judge must take into account the defendant’s available assets and ability to pay.
The experienced Tampa white collar crime lawyers at The Matassini Law Firm, P.A., can assist you at every step of the process. You do not have to face serious criminal charges alone. Call us today at 813.379.2007 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.