It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent – we all recognize the fact that crime rates are rising. The rise in crime and subsequent incarceration has left us with prisons that are extremely overcrowded.
Recently, a change in criminal law sentencing went into effect. Lawmakers are trying to combat the issue of overcrowded prisons, as well as a person’s reputation and criminal record, by reducing the severity of certain crimes, including white collar crimes. Some people aren’t very happy about these changes, though, including the Obama Administration.
What Are White Collar Crimes?
White collar crimes are non-violent crimes committed for the purpose of illegal financial gain. These crimes may not physically harm a victim, but they are still serious. Families have lost their life savings due to certain white collar crimes. And, needless to say, being the victim of such a crime makes it very hard to trust anyone, especially someone who plays a role in the financial decisions of your family or business.
A Recent Change to White Collar Crime Laws
Within the last couple of months, lawmakers have decided to amend the severity of a number of crimes, including white collar crimes. Within just the last month, the Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015 was introduced by Republican Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. and passed into law two days later by the House Judiciary Committee. Obviously both Democrats and Republicans are interested in improving crime rates, but is this bill the answer?
In a NY Times article posted on November 30, 2015, Peter J. Henning describes how the laws have changed. Crimes which used to be considered serious felonies, including white collar crimes, are now being considered misdemeanors. Additionally, the way these crimes are to be prosecuted has changed.
The #1 Reason Why Some Aren’t Happy With the Recent White Collar Crime Law Changes
While reducing the number of criminals and prison inmates is important, some people, including President Obama, aren’t convinced that these changes are the way to go about accomplishing that. The recent adjustments worry some because of the following:
It will be harder to obtain convictions – The new law states that the prosecution must prove that the accused had “intent to commit a crime,” that they had to know beforehand that they were, in fact, committing a crime. Proving intent can be difficult, especially when a large corporation is the accused. There are so many people involved in corporate decisions that it would be hard to pinpoint whether a crime had been intended or whether an accident had occurred.
How the Recent Changes Can Help You
If you’ve been accused of committing a white collar crime, contact an attorney who is not only well-versed in criminal law, but who knows how to use the latest legal changes to your advantage. Depending on the severity of the crime, the right attorney may be able to help get your sentence reduced or possibly even get the charges dropped. Call the law office of John C. Fitzpatrick for more information.