In the world of criminal law, there are different levels of offenses that one can be charged with. With felonies, for example, these charges usually come with a minimum amount of time in prison that must be served before being eligible for parole or completion of an alternative sentence.
In cases where no time in prison is required, this may be listed as “Probation Possible.” On the other hand, white-collar crime comes with fines and restitution to pay back any losses. It also has requirements for court-mandated rehabilitation and community service work. As a result, you will spend your day doing good deeds, such as helping out at homeless shelters or food kitchens.
What is Considered to Be White Collar Crime?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines white-collar crime as any criminal offense that involves a scheme or act which is predominantly motivated by the desire to acquire money, property, services, or other things of value. It is then in some way connected to an official duty or status of the person charged. Many times this kind of crime results from a position of trust. As far as penalties go for these charges, they may include fines and denial of public employment.
An Example of a Federal White Collar Crime:
Federal laws are made with guidelines for what constitutes a felony and what makes up a misdemeanor. There are very strict rules for sentencing, too, such as those that dictate how much time should be spent in prison for what kind of crime. These rules are looked upon as being very fair when making these determinations, but they are not perfect, just dependable.
The Intent Behind White Collar Crimes:
When someone commits a white-collar crime against another person or organization, they intend to create some sort of financial advantage for themselves. However, when they do this, they need to have a certain status or authority given to them by the society in which they live.
They may be part of an organization where others look up to them as leaders or figures of authority. This role could be filled by someone in a banking institution or even with any law enforcement agency, including the local police department.
What is a Felony?
A felony is a serious crime that means you have been charged with an offense that could result in time spent behind bars. For example, if you are convicted of felony drunk driving, then there is the chance of going to jail for it if found guilty. On the other hand, a white-collar crime is typically considered less violent than other criminal charges and brings about lesser penalties.
An Example of a State Felony:
State laws on felonies can be as complex as federal ones, but they vary more in the time given for such offenses and may not have regulations regarding what crimes should or should not be designated as class 1 or 2 felonies. So the perspective from state to state may appear different when determining what constitutes this kind of crime.
Original Offenses That Became Felonies:
As laws changed over the years, so did how crimes were classified. One example is the sexual assault law that once was considered a misdemeanor and has been turned into a felony because of lawmakers’ changes made in 1983 by lawmakers in Congress. In addition, there are several other crimes on the books today that used to be considered misdemeanors before reforms were enacted, such as shoplifting or robbery, for example.