Financial Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC
South Carolina has a number of financial crimes that cover situations where people use fraud, forgery, or other types of deception to steal money or property, including:
- Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft; and
- Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent – Embezzlement.
Depending on the facts of the case, police may charge a combination of offenses.
When Do I Have to Pay Restitution in SC?
In most financial crime or property crime cases, restitution to the alleged victims will be a part of any sentence if convicted.
Every defendant has a right to a restitution hearing if they plead guilty or if they are convicted at trial. The defendant can agree to a restitution amount, or the defendant can require the alleged victim and prosecutor to present evidence and testimony to the court to prove the amount of the loss.
When appropriate, your criminal defense lawyer can hold money for restitution in trust and, when it may help your case, pay restitution to the alleged victim through the solicitor’s office prior to any court hearings. In some cases, this can help to persuade the alleged victim or prosecutor to dismiss the charges or agree to pretrial diversion. In other cases, it may help at sentencing.
What are the Penalties for Financial Crimes in SC?
The potential penalties for financial crimes depend on the individual charges, but most are based on the dollar value of the alleged loss.
Do I Need an Expert Witness to Defend Against Financial Crime Allegations?
You might – it depends on what you are charged with and the circumstances.
For example, if you are charged with breach of trust (embezzlement) based on an alleged theft from your employer, we may need to retain a forensic accountant to review the employer’s financial records and establish whether there was an actual theft or if it is simply a case of bad record-keeping.
Or, if there was a theft, where did the money go? Often, employers will call the police and have a person arrested based on a suspicion only – a mere suspicion may justify termination from employment, but it is not enough evidence to convict a person of a financial crime.
SC Financial Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney in SC
If you have been charged with a financial crime in SC, get help immediately – the police and prosecutors are building their case against you and you do not have time to delay. Call Charleston criminal defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation about your case.