Why Ignorance of the Law Doesn’t Make a Compelling Defence
Law enforcement officials don’t expect you to be a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to behaving lawfully. Consequently, you might not be cut any slack if you are arrested for a crime and claim that you don’t understand what you did wrong. Laws are generally written to thwart people from acting unethically. For instance, your employer may not have specifically told you that you couldn’t deposit client checks into your personal bank account, but you probably already knew that you’d get in trouble if and when you got caught. A white collar crime attorney in Florida can offer a much more plausible defence for corporate crime offences than claiming that you didn’t know you were doing something wrong. Here’s how those who have been accused of white collar crimes can thoughtfully explain their reasoning and potentially receive more leniency for their wrongdoing.
An Honest Mistake
Most people who have been accused of committing a white-collar crime pay their taxes are respectful of the law and never thought that their actions could lead to criminal penalties. Although claiming that you had no idea that you committed a crime is not usually a good defence, sometimes this defence is actually the honest truth. Say your employer really did tell you that you could deposit a company check in your bank account in lieu of being paid via payroll check. Your attorney can explain the exact scenario to a judge and use your behaviour as a model citizen to prove that you made a technical error and that you weren’t willfully breaking the law.
Being Led into a Scheme
Sometimes, those who have committed white collar crimes are actually pawns in a greater scheme. Ponzi schemes, money laundering, even falsifying documents can take place when individuals believe that they are simply doing a colleague a favour. To offer compelling evidence to the court, your lawyer will need to be able to identify the true criminal mastermind. Turn over all evidence that suggests that you were a low-level player in a bigger white collar criminal outfit and your charges could be downgraded or eliminated if you are cooperative.
Being Temporarily Blinded by Greed
Okay, so openly admitting that you made a bad decision based on greed might not be an easy thing to do. If you are being prosecuted for a white-collar offence, taking a plea deal requires you to be honest about what you have done. Additionally, laying the blame solely at your feet can actually make it easier for judges when it comes time to sentence you or decide whether or not to accept a plea deal.
You can’t pretend that you don’t understand how the law works when you’re in court on a white collar criminal offence. Judges and prosecutors consider white collar crime defendants to be more sophisticated than most, so you don’t want to look like you’re trying to game the system. Explain what your reasoning was when you showed bad judgement and be transparent about your behaviours. This is likely the most critical time for you to take full responsibility.