The Law Firm of Mark J. Werksman & Associates – White Collar Charges Pileup
State and Federal Agencies Can Pile Up White Collar Charges in Order to Force a Deal, but Attorney Mark J. Werksman Says You Can Fight Back
State and Federal Governments Use Multiple Charges to Force Plea Deal Acceptance
Turn on any news broadcast and you’ll see images of violent crime, such as murder, drug selling, and assault, played almost nonstop. This is a direct correlation to the fact that when people think of crime, their automatic response is violent criminal behavior. Most people assume that typical violent crime or theft deals a major blow to the economy of the country, but they would be wrong. In fact, white-collar crime costs more to America than all other crimes combined. The impact that white-collar crime has upon our economy is estimated to be between $600-$750 billion dollars per year, which is about 5% of the country’s GDP. This is why state and federal governments take white-collar crime so seriously, and with the turmoil in the financial sector over the last few years, those agencies are turning over every rock in order to find wrongdoing. Yet it has been shown that many state and federal agencies can get overzealous in their prosecutions, and they use a number of tactics designed to pressure the defendant to make a plea deal. One of the most effective of these tactics is the use of piling up charges to overwhelm the accused.
Being charged with a white-collar crime is a traumatic experience, but the experience is compounded many times over when the defendant is facing charges from state and federal agencies. Experienced trial lawyers, such as Mark J. Werksman of the Law Firm of Mark J. Werksman and Associates, point out that these agencies have a great deal more manpower and financial resources at their disposal to be used in making a prosecution. The defendant may be hard pressed to keep up with everything that these agencies can bring to bear against him. Another issue is that charges can be filed from multiple agencies. An entire cornucopia of agencies can descend upon the accused and shower them with charges. Examples can include the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Security Exchange Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and so on.
When pressing charges, the accused normally doesn’t find themselves dealing with a single charge. The state and federal governments love to bury the defendant in a mountain of charges. What could be a simple clerical error could result in a separate charge every time that particular formula was used. If your business crossed state lines, then that one clerical error, already compounded by each use, yields another rash of charges for each state. Compounding the issue is that regulations change constantly, and many lawyers, such as Mark J. Werksman of the Law Firm of Mark J. Werksman and Associates, point out that many smaller companies have trouble keeping up with the latest regulations. A cynical person might say that such a constant flux of regulations may be designed to increase revenue by imposing fees or fines upon the unwary.
White-collar crimes carry severe penalties if convicted, and the use of piling up charges is designed to break the will of the defendant in order to make a plea deal. An accounting error for billing clients that the IRS and DOJ say is intentional may carry a five year jail term, but the fact that these agencies are making a separate charge for each bill submission to a client may mean that the defendant is facing hundreds of individual charges, each carrying that three year penalty. It’s at this point that the agencies in question begin to turn the screws in order to get the defendant to agree to a plea deal. This situation is very serious as the prosecuting agencies will definitely push for the maximum amount of jail time or fines if a conviction occurs. Some studies have shown that those who turned down a plea deal and were later convicted received a prison sentence that was three times higher than what was offered by the plea deal. As criminal attorney Mark J. Werksman notes, “The pressure for even an innocent person to accept a plea deal can be overwhelming when faced against the bureaucratic might of the federal government. Facing thirty to forty charges, each carrying a prison term of three to five years, is enough to make some defendants accept a plea deal for five years in order not to take the chance of losing their case at trial and then spending the rest of their life incarcerated.”
It is because of this intentional intimidation in order to secure a plea deal that makes the use of piling up of white-collar charges so effective. Yet it is possible for the accused to successfully fight back against those charges. The first, and most important, thing to do is to hire a qualified attorney, such as Mark J. Werksman of the Law Firm of Mark J. Werksman and Associates, that is experienced in the area of white-collar crime. Dealing with a byzantine labyrinth of local, state, and federal laws requires experienced counsel that can safely help you navigate through the bureaucratic shoals. Laws will differ depending upon the locale, and a good attorney will be able to weed out unwarranted charges that are just designed to frighten you into accepting a plea deal. Another useful aspect of having legal counsel is that they can negotiate on your behalf with the authorities. This might lead to reduced charges and a better plea deal. State and federal agencies have a lot of resources to use against you, so it behooves you to have someone standing by your side to defend you. Remember, it’s your Constitutionally-given right.
3) Quote from Mark J. Werksman, Criminal Trial Attorney