What are the Penalties for a White Collar Crime Conviction?

January 27th, 2021 by Tad Nelson in White Collar Crime

White collar crime allegations are taken very seriously in Texas, even though they are by definition, non-violent offenses. For this reason, most of those who are accused of committing a white collar crime end up facing felony charges. Some of the more minor offenses, however, can be charged as misdemeanors, which tend to have much lighter penalties than their felony counterparts. 

Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, white collar crime-related allegations should not be taken lightly, so if you have been accused of committing fraud in Texas, or a similar offense, you should reach out to an experienced Houston white collar crime lawyer who can attempt to get your charges reduced or even dismissed. 

Felony White Collar Crimes

Many white collar crimes can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the item or funds that were allegedly taken and the defendant’s criminal record. Someone accused of forgery, for instance, when the value of the property is worth less than $100, will most likely face a Class C misdemeanor. Some white collar crimes, however, are considered particularly serious and so always come with felony charges, including:

  • Using fraud to deprive someone of funds worth more than $1,500;
  • Money laundering;
  • Forgery;
  • Securities fraud;
  • Fraudulent use of a credit or debit card;
  • Commercial bribery;
  • Identity fraud; and
  • Exploiting a child, disabled person, or elderly individual. 

If you are facing felony white collar crime charges, please call our office today to learn more about building a strong defense. 

gavel and book in court room

Misdemeanor White Collar Crimes

Being convicted of a white collar crime can come with lower penalties if the offense is charged as a misdemeanor. For instance, theft of property worth less than $100 via forgery is a Class C misdemeanor, and as such, is punishable exclusively by a fine. Common Class C misdemeanor offenses include forgery, issuing a bad check, or issuing a false statement to obtain credit or funds, as long as the value of the property is less than $100. 

If the value of the items that were allegedly taken exceeds $100, but is less than $750, then the crime will usually be charged as a Class B misdemeanor. Conviction for this kind of offense comes with a higher fine and up to six months in jail. Common Class B misdemeanor white collar offenses include embezzlement, engaging in deceptive business practices, and using fictitious military records. 

Theft of something worth up to $2,500 through the use of deception, on the other hand, is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, which is punishable by a jail sentence of up to a year. Examples of this degree of white collar crime include embezzlement, check forgery, and refusing to execute the release of a fraudulent lien or claim. 

Experienced Houston White Collar Crime Lawyers

To learn more about the types of penalties you could be facing if convicted of a white collar crime in Texas, please call The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates at 281-962-7817 or send us an online message today. 


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