White collar crime is a broad area of the law referring to non-violent offenses typically committed in a business setting. These crimes can be committed by individuals, groups or corporations for financial gain. You can be charged with a white-collar crime for an array of offenses such as credit card fraud and identity theft.
White collar crimes can be prosecuted on the state and federal level depending on whether state or federal laws were violated. In addition to time behind bars and fines, conviction of a white-collar crime can jeopardize your career and reputation. Because of this, it’s essential you have legal representation.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs
White collar crimes may be considered non-violent, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be sentenced as if you’ve committed a heinous crime. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has proven experience defending clients of white-collar offenses such as:
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Asset Forfeiture
- Organized crime
Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. We defend clients accused of white-collar crimes in areas such as El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
Credit Card Fraud
With more and more people ditching cash and using credit or debit cards, the chances of a card being fraudulently used are higher than ever. In fact, a study from Javelin Strategy & Research found the crime accounted for $16.8 billion in damages and affected nearly 17 million people.
Credit card fraud is an offense Colorado takes seriously. Mere possession of someone else’s credit or debit card without permission is a crime that can land you behind bars. Credit card fraud generally falls under the umbrella of a number of identity theft crimes. Listed below is a brief explanation of some credit card fraud crimes in Colorado:
- Criminal possession of a financial device: This offense involves having a credit or debit card you know to be stolen, lost or delivered by mistake. Something as simple as having a credit card mistakenly delivered to your address and keeping it can result in charges. Depending on the number of “financial devices” found in your possession, the crime can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
- Unauthorized use of a financial device: This crime is committed by using a fraudulently obtained credit or debit card to obtain something of value or to make a monetary payment with the intent to defraud. Stealing less than $2,000 is a misdemeanor while more than $2,000 is a felony.
Credit and debit cards are considered a financial device. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, a financial device is any instrument or device that can be used to obtain anything of value or to make a monetary payment.
Identity theft has become more common with the advent of technology. This white-collar crime involves stealing someone’s personal information with the intention of obtaining something such as money or a social security card. Credit card fraud can fall under the umbrella of identity theft, but the offense can be committed in other ways as well.
Under state law, the following acts can be considered identity theft:
- Using stolen identifying information to apply for or complete an application for a debit or credit card
- Obtaining government-issued documents with stolen identifying information
- Possessing identifying information with the intent to obtain something of value or to make a financial payment
- Using stolen identifying information to obtain something of value or to make a monetary payment
- Making or submitting as true a fraudulent document or financial device with someone else’s information with the intention to defraud
Identifying information can be anything from someone’s name to their social security number. Other pieces of identifying information can include a date of birth, passwords, driver’s license number, passport number or biometric data.
Identity theft is a class 4 felony. You will be sentenced to harsher penalties than what is typically handed down for a class 4 felony. According to the statutes, you will be required to be sentenced to at least a minimum of four years, but up to 12 years behind bars.
Colorado’s Forgery Laws
Forgery is the act of possessing, creating or passing as true an altered document with the intent to deceive. Forgery is charged in two ways: forgery and second-degree forgery. How you are charged will depend on the type of documents used to commit the offense. To be charged with forgery, the falsified document must have been of legal significance. These documents can include but are not limited to:
- Stock certificates
- Lottery tickets
- Public records
Forgery is a class 5 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000.
Second-degree forgery involves the same elements as forgery, except the alter document isn’t of legal significance. This can include falsifying medical records, university transcripts or train tickets. Second-degree forgery is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by six to 18 months in jail, a fine between $500 and $5,000 or both.
Additional Resources for White Collar Crimes
Fraud in Obtaining Property | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to find a list of credit card fraud offenses. You can learn more about the credit card crimes mentioned on this page and find information on other crimes such as purchases on credit to defraud and obtaining credit cards on false statements.
Identity Theft and Related Offenses | Colorado Revised Statutes – Learn more about identity theft by following the link. You can read the precise legal definition of the offense and learn about crimes such as possession of identity theft tools and criminal possession of a financial device.
White Collar Crime Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Legal representation is crucial if you have been charged with a white-collar crime. The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC have nearly a decade of experience defending clients of such offenses. We will evaluate the facts of your case and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.