When you think of the word “criminal,” you might conjure up some stereotypes and misconceptions about what a criminal typically looks like. The truth is, there is no singular image of crime that applies generally. Many people who appear to be normal, average citizens or esteemed professionals can engage in criminal behavior. The prevalence of white-collar crime proves this to be true. 

White-collar crime takes many forms, and if you face such accusations, it is essential that you obtain a defense attorney who will clear your name and help you restore your life to normalcy. Do not underestimate the seriousness of white-collar criminal charges, including the following three common examples. 

1. Racketeering

Racketeering, in a general sense, refers to any business dealing that is dishonest or fraudulent in some way. Legally, it typically refers to organized crime, including mob and gang activity. Organized groups conducting illegal business fall under the umbrella of racketeering, so any organized drug activity, sex crime, trafficking or other criminal group endeavor may face charges under this term.

2. Insider trading

Martha Stewart was infamously imprisoned for insider trading, but you are not alone if you are still unclear as to the meaning of the phrase. This charge refers to the practice of buying or selling stocks according to insider knowledge that you should not be privy to. If you have access to confidential information that may affect the value of a company’s stock, you should never engage in any trades.

3. Fraud 

Fraud is an expensive crime. According to CNBC, it costs consumers over $16 billion in a given year. With stakes this high, it is no wonder why courts take the charge so seriously. Fraud may refer to identity theft, forgery or any other false representation of information. If you face charges for this or any other white-collar crime, seek out legal counsel to better understand your case and your options.