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Irvine California White Collar Crime Defense Blog

The use of eyewitness testimony in criminal trials

When people go on trial for a crime, there is often evidence linking that person to the crime. In some cases, however, the evidence may be circumstantial and the answer as to whether the person on trial actually committed the crime isn’t so clear. Eyewitness testimony may be used to show that the defendant was present during the crime. Yet, research shows that eyewitness testimony is not always accurate and may lead to an innocent person being wrongfully convicted. When testimony is entered in court, the jurors may not understand that the witness’s identification of the suspect may not be valid.

In one study, the prosecution presented circumstantial evidence to a jury overseeing a robbery-murder case. Approximately 18 percent of the jury came back with a guilty verdict after viewing the information. The same case with identical circumstantial evidence was presented to a second jury, with an added testimony from a single eyewitness claiming they saw the defendant at the crime scene. In this case, 72 percent of the jurors came back with a guilty ruling.

Penalties for white collar crimes against elders and the disabled

As a California resident facing a white-collar criminal charge, you may have justifiable concerns about the penalties you could potentially face should a judge or jury convict you. While financial crimes can lead to considerable consequences that may include steep fines, professional repercussions and possible jail time, they can also affect your professional standing, meaning they may ultimately cost you your entire career and professional reputation.

Certain financial crimes, per the California Department of Justice’s Office of the Attorney General, such as those committed against the elderly or dependent or disabled adults, have clearly defined penalties associated with them as defined under California Penal Code 368. These penalties will typically differ based on whether you had a caretaker role over the victim of the crime.

Participating in cybercrime can destroy your business

If you operate a successful company that is currently experiencing the strain of competition in California, it may be tempting to participate in illegal behavior to profit and see a better return on your investments. However, deceiving behavior of any kind is often punishable by law and can have debilitating consequences for your company. At Ron Cordova Attorney at Law, we are committed to providing fair defense for alleged criminals of white-collar crime. 

Cybercrime is when you use the internet in a way that is deceitful and involves behaviors like hacking that ultimately hurt users and compromise their information. According to Forbes Magazine, cybercrime can be incredibly damaging to your company and is estimated to cost a jaw-dropping $6 trillion through 2021. Some of the adverse side effects that your business may suffer include the following:

  • Compromised data: If you are participating in cybercrime, it is highly likely that sensitive data may be compromised that may ultimately expose your company and your customers. In some cases, this information is lost for good.
  • Damaged investing opportunities: Investors will not want to look for shareholder opportunities in your company if you have been involved in cybercrimes. A lack in interest may make it difficult for you to ever be considered for an investment partnership in the future. 
  • Tarnished reputation: Consumers will be turned away from your company if accusations of cybercrimes tarnish your image and brand. Should you work relentlessly to rebuild your reputation, this process will take considerable time and effort to recover. 

What is money laundering?

Money laundering may be a familiar-sounding term to Californians, especially those who read newspapers or watch movies, but you may not understand how the money becomes "dirty" in the first place, what money laundering involves or the laws that are in place to prevent and prosecute it.

According to FindLaw, dirty money is any money that which derives from criminal activity, including the sale of illegal drugs or stolen property; terrorist activities; white-collar crime, such as embezzlement or from organized crime. Money laundering, then, is the attempt to channel dirty money through legitimate channels in order to disguise its origin and make it appear "clean." 

What are examples of cybercrimes?

As a resident of California, facing charges of internet crimes - also known as cybercrimes - can be destructive to your way of life. Ron Cordova, attorney at law, is here to help you as you struggle through this relatively new area of law.

As mentioned above, cybercrime is relatively new in the legal arena because the internet hasn't been around that long in the grand scheme of things. However, while it can be a place of great resources, it's also opened up a new arena in which crime can occur. Some examples of cybercrime include:

  • Hacking
  • Identity theft
  • Cyberbullying
  • Phishing
  • Soliciting minors
  • Credit card fraud

Key aspects of white collar charges

Due to the non-violent nature of white-collar crimes, many people are not aware of the penalties if a person is convicted of such crimes. White-collar crime are often federal offenses that impose heavy penalties.

If you or a loved one is charged with a white-collar crime, it is important to understand what you are up against. There are a few key aspects to such crimes and the court process.

California Senate Bill 327 on cybersecurity

California is home to many companies that manufacture technology products. If you own or work for one of these companies, you may want to educate yourself about the laws that oversee some of these items, especially when it comes to security of personal information. 

As explained by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2017, California saw a total of nine bills relating to cybersecurity introduced into the state legislature. One of those bills was vetoed by the Governor and one that required disclosure of costs for internet technology security was passed. The remaining seven are still pending. One of these, Senate Bill 327, puts a hefty responsibility on hardware manufacturers.

Is tax evasion a serious crime?

Taxes affect everyone, regardless of status. Some people actively try to evade or avoid paying all the taxes they owe, and most people understand that purposely doing so is a crime. The justification that many people make is that evading "just a little" is not such a big deal, and therefore the risk is minimal. Tax evasion is a crime, however, regardless of the amount. It is important to understand the basics surrounding the crime of tax evasion to avoid getting into legal trouble.

Defining tax evasion

How is stalking defined in California?

It can be difficult to pinpoint the behaviors that count as stalking in California, especially if you are accused of something you did not intend or your actions were misinterpreted. For example, if you asked a co-worker out and she refused, then you approached her later to engage in friendly conversation and she accused you of stalking her, you might be confused as to what you did wrong. It is important to understand the actions that can result in you being charged with a stalking offense.

According to FindLaw, stalking can include several behaviors that make a person feel intimidated, threatened and afraid for his or her safety. The following behaviors can count as stalking:

  • Sending a person repeated text messages, posts on social media sites, emails and phone calls
  • Threatening to harm the other person if he or she doesn’t agree to go on a date or resume a relationship
  • Damaging the other person’s personal property
  • Showing up unexpectedly and unexplainably in places the other person frequents

Former mayor charges with embezzlement and more

People in California may not be surprised to hear that a politician has been charged with a financial crime but they should always remember that allegations are not convictions. Every person always has the right to defend themselves and it is during this defense process that the truth can hopefully be fully realized. This is an essential component to the legal and judicial system in the United States and connected to the belief that every person is innocent until proven otherwise.

As reported by Recordnet.com, a trial for several charges of alleged embezzlement was scheduled to begin in early November. The defendant had been the mayor of Stockton. Recently, however, the man was charged wtih even more offenses and it is possible that the two cases may end up being merged. If this happens, the previously scheduled November trial date may end up getting moved out.

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