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White Collar Crimes

Michigan Attorney Helping You Protect Your Rights

While many crimes cause bodily harm or involve the use of force, others involve deception and fraudulent acts designed to divest people of property and funds. People who are accused of engaging in such behavior in business and financial settings are often charged with white collar crimes. White collar crimes typically do not involve violent behavior, but they are nonetheless serious offenses that can result in substantial fines and lengthy prison sentences. As a result, it is essential that anyone charged with such crimes consult an attorney. If you are accused of forgery, embezzlement, securities fraud, or any other white collar crime, Detroit white collar crime lawyer Ellen K. Michaels can advise you about your rights and mount a compelling defense on your behalf. She offers the skills and experience required to obtain a successful outcome. She represents people throughout the Detroit metro area, including in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Monroe Counties.

Examples of White Collar Crimes

Numerous offenses fall under the umbrella of white collar crimes, and most involve some degree of deception. One of the most common white collar offenses is securities fraud, which is when a person involved in the sale or purchase of a security, such as a broker or financial adviser, uses a device, scheme, or lie for the purpose of deceiving or defrauding someone, or engages in any other activity that operates as a deceit on another person. For example, an individual running a Ponzi scheme or lying to a client regarding investments may be charged with securities fraud.

Embezzlement is a white collar crime as well. Under Michigan law, the crime of embezzlement involves an agent fraudulently disposing of or converting the principal’s money or property for his or her personal use without consent. A person in charge of a company’s finances who uses its funds for personal purposes may be charged with embezzlement. A white collar crime attorney in the Detroit area can devise a strategy to fight this charge. Forgery, another commonly charged white collar offense, is the act of counterfeiting, altering, or falsifying certain documents, like insurance bills, promissory notes, and checks, with the intent of defrauding another party.

Burden of Proof in White Collar Crime Cases

In white collar crime cases, the prosecution faces a high burden of proof. Specifically, the prosecution needs to establish each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the State must prove that a review of the evidence would lead a person to no other reasonable conclusion than that the defendant is guilty. If the prosecution fails to establish each element of the crime, the defendant should be found not guilty. For example, many white collar crimes require proof of malicious intent, and if the prosecution cannot show that the defendant possessed the required state of mind, the jury should not convict the defendant.

In contrast to the prosecution, defendants in white collar cases do not need to offer any evidence or establish their innocence. In some cases, though, it may be beneficial for a Detroit white collar crime attorney to raise defenses that can help a defendant avoid a guilty verdict. For example, if a defendant can show that he or she had the consent of the alleged victim or otherwise had permission to engage in the behavior in question, it may prove that his or her acts were lawful. Similarly, if the defendant can show that the acts were simply negligent rather than intentionally fraudulent, it may lead to a not guilty verdict.

Contact a Skillful Michigan Lawyer

People convicted of white collar crimes often face substantial penalties and lifelong damage to their careers and reputation. If you are charged with a white collar offense, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney about your options. Ellen K. Michaels is adept at defending people charged with white collar crimes, and if you hire her, she will zealously pursue the best legal result available under the facts of your case. Attorney Michaels has offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, and West Bloomfield, and she frequently represents people accused of committing white collar crimes in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe Counties, and throughout Southeast Michigan. You can reach Attorney Michaels to set up a free consultation with a white collar crime lawyer in the Detroit area by using the online form or calling (248) 202-3345.

Client Reviews

I hired Ellen Michaels to represent me after I was charged with retail fraud 3 in Livonia. She was wonderful to work with...


Ellen represented my daughter when she received an MIP. She not only fought for a full dismissal, which she was able to get...


Ms. Michaels fought for me every step of the way. She was smart and tough. I was so grateful to have her fighting for me. I...


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