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Criminal Defense in San Diego County Learn more about why hiring defense is the best option.

San Diego White Collar Crime Lawyer

If you think that you are under investigation for a white collar crime, you should arrange for qualified legal representation as soon as possible. My firm has offered committed legal defense in San Diego for 15+ years. No matter the case, I am prepared to apply my experience and determination to protect your rights and freedom.

Because white collar crime encompasses such a large variety of offenses, there is no one-size-fits-all penalty for a conviction. Each crime has its own set of legal consequences and many of these crimes are considered “wobblers,” which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on how the prosecution files the case, the judge’s ruling, how much money was involved in the case, your prior criminal history, and other details.

The consequences of being charged with a federal white collar crime extend beyond the scope of legally mandated punishment. These cases, regardless of whether or not you are found guilty, can shake the faith of your clients and customers, become a distraction from work or operating your business, or fill you with anxiety about the case and its outcome. If you are found guilty, you could lose your job or have trouble finding a new one, spend years in prison, pay heavy fines and restitution, and/or have your professional reputation compromised.

The potential consequences make finding a reputable and reliable defense lawyer as soon as possible very important. The good news is that white collar crimes are investigated over very long periods of time, potentially giving you time to prepare a defense.

To set up a consultation regarding your case, get in touch with Kern Law, APC by calling (619) 202-5583.

Common White Collar Crimes

The amount of potential white collar crimes in California is long, making it hard to offer an exhaustive list of each crime on a single webpage. Below are some examples of the crimes that are often prosecuted in the state of California.


Civil Code - CIV § 3294 defines fraud as “an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury.” The broad nature of this legal definition lends itself to numerous crimes. For example, there is credit card fraud, welfare fraud, insurance fraud, and more.

Often, people will be charged with fraud without ever having known they were perpetrating it in the first place. This can happen due to misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and lack of fraudulent intent. For example, you may have sincerely filled out an insurance or tax form incorrectly, meaning your actions lacked any criminal intent. The prosecution bears the burden of proving that your intention was criminal in nature.

Fraud cases can be challenged if the defendant was subject to illegal search and seizure, falsely accused, or entrapped by authorities.

Fraud can be prosecuted as a felony, meaning it is in your best interest to call me as soon as possible if you are being investigated for, or have been charged with, fraud.


The crime of forgery in California, as it is defined by Penal Code 470, is very broad. Criminal forgery charges can be filed if a person:

  • Uses a name that is not their own on legal documents;
  • Attempts to recreate another person’s personal signature;
  • Provides false information with the intention to defraud; or
  • Attempts to pass off specific legal documents as true, including checks, certificates of ownership, country orders or warrants, and more, with the intention to defraud.

Like fraud, forgery can be perpetrated without any intent or knowledge that it was happening. Prosecutors must prove that a person intended to commit the crime, making lack of criminal intent a common, and often appropriate, defense.

Further, a forged document must have legal significance in order to be prosecuted. Legally significant documents are agreements between at least one person, business, or entity and another that affect legal obligations and rights. For example, a written check, the deed of a home, and receipts are all considered legally significant, while things like personal correspondence between friends are not.

If you need the services of a white collar criminal defense attorney in San Diego, reach out to Kern Law, APC at your earliest convenience. I will give your case the attention and time that it deserves.

Money Laundering

The legal language of money laundering as it is defined by Penal Code § 186.10 is dense. Essentially, it definens money laundering as taking money that is illegally gained and using any number of processes to make it look as though it was acquired legally.

In order to be charged with money laundering:

  • The defendant must have made a transaction through a financial institution;
  • The total of the transaction(s) must exceed $5,000 in a 7-day period or $25,000 in a period of 30 days; and
  • The defendant either knew the funds were illegally acquired or the intent of these transactions was criminal.

Other White Collar Crimes

The list of these crimes goes on, covering many offenses that involve financial and political gain. Other examples of white collar crime include:

  • Embezzlement
  • Bribery
  • Public Corruption
  • Violations of Election Law
  • Counterfeiting
  • Identity Theft
  • Computer Crimes
  • Antitrust Violations
  • Economic Espionage
  • Misappropriating Public Funds
  • Attempted Extortion
  • Unauthorized Practice of Law or Medicine

Contact Kern Law, APC Today

Whether you have been charged with a crime or suspect that you may be under investigation, it is highly recommended that you discuss your case with a qualified lawyer at your earliest convenience. Investigations into white collar crimes often take considerably longer than others, meaning that getting legal representation early could give you valuable time to prepare a case for the future. If you have already been charged, there is plenty that I can do to fight the case so you can potentially avoid large fines and/or time in either jail or prison.

Kern Law, APC is here to help you navigate the confusing world of white collar crime. To get started with a consultation, give me a call at (619) 202-5583 or contact me online today.