With the transition in political administrations, Americans can expect a major shift in the focus of law enforcement priorities, according to legal experts. Reports show that criminal defense for traffic penalties, weapons crimes, and "street" violations are more likely to be held in high importance during the coming years. The trade-off? Enforcement for white collar crime is anticipated to drastically reduce.
While some experts see this shift as necessary for big banks to reduce their costs of compliance - identifying money laundering from their perspective can be a challenge - others say the shifts may lead to significant issues, allowing violations to escalate unchecked. Further, more responsibility for enforcing laws against white collar crime and related violations could fall on the government, meaning a larger burden for taxpayers. This is a political matter that could easily turn into a criminal defense issue, according to initial reports.
The SEC has already made moves to limit enforcement, requiring that any formal investigation get approval from the enforcement division before action can be taken. All requests must now be forced through a central location, which means that the process of investigation for white collar crime could be slowed to a crawl. Ultimately, this could limit inquiries into specific market sectors.
Although political pundits may speculate about the effects of these changes on enforcement nationwide, the fact remains that white collar crime is still a serious violation. Defendants who are facing such allegations need help to mount an effective criminal defense. The fact that you are charged with white collar crime does not mean that you are automatically considered guilty - in fact, far from it! With the right representation, you can maximize the outcome of your white collar crime case and make the most of your legal rights.
Source: The New York Times, "Signs of a Step Back in Financial Regulatory Enforcement," Peter J. Henning, Feb. 20, 2017