White-Collar Crime – Stages in the Criminal Process

White-collar criminal charges rarely go to trial, so there are vast differences between how these cases are handled versus how a defense lawyer handles typical street crimes.

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Pre-charge Investigation and Consultation

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience in handling both street crimes and white-collar crimes.

In street crime practice, defense attorneys are most commonly brought into cases after the charges have already been made. However, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has found that the earlier a white-collar criminal attorney is involved, the better it often is for a person because charges can sometimes be avoided or reduced before they go to court. Frequently, when our firm steps in during the investigation phase, we have been able to stop charges from being made at all.

When the white-collar criminal defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. get involved in white-collar felony and misdemeanor cases, we use all available resources at this stage to attempt to convince the government not to bring charges against our client.  We can also use the knowledge we gain during this process to proactively develop a defense, preserve defense-oriented evidence, and form an early strategy for fighting the charges.  When a lawyer is hired after the charges are filed, many of the pre-charge opportunities are lost.  Before being charged, the defendant has a bit more control over the process, and the government has made less of an investment in the investigation and prosecution.  The defendant can earn consideration for early cooperation in those cases where the client knows at the outset that he or she desires a favorable resolution.


The pretrial phase is hugely important for the street crime defense attorney.  This is where information is exchanged (police report, etc.), and decisions are made whether to file motions to contest issues that might be involved in the case.

The law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. while serving as a white-collar criminal defense attorney uses the pretrial period to gather information about the government’s case, gain a tactical advantage through pretrial motions, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence and help the client understand and chose between viable alternatives and options. During the pretrial process, the attorney must be able to switch back and forth between attempting to work out the most favorable plea bargain for the client and planning to provide the best possible defense at trial.

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A white-collar criminal attorney has similar considerations for going to trial on a street cases and white-collar cases. The issues of trial preparation, interviewing witnesses, issuing subpoenas, and preparing witness testimony are common to both areas; however, the trial preparation and the trial are often much more complex and lengthy in white-collar offenses.  In these cases, it is not usual to have thousands of pages of discovery/police reports and records that are highly technical, industry-specific, and difficult for many lawyers to understand.  The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is very accustomed to handling cases with complicated and intricate engineering, medical, computer, and/or scientific elements.

White-collar crimes are also distinguishable from street level crimes because the white-collar criminal defense attorney has more room to create doubt for a jury, because there is a high level of ambiguity in the white-collar statutes, such as fraud:

  • embezzlement
  • computer fraud
  • healthcare fraud
  • bank fraud
  • counterfeiting
  • extortion
  • forgery
  • uttering and publishing
  • insider trading
  • identity theft
  • racketeering/RICO
  • tax evasion

Sentencing in Financial and Fraud Crimes

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. take sentencing very seriously, and our approach to this final stage in a criminal proceeding is unique and unmatched by other firms handling these cases. Our defense team goes to great lengths to humanize our client and make him more than just a “file” in the system. Every case and every client has a unique remarkable story and a background that helps explain why an offense occurred. We will take the time to learn about you and your individual circumstances, and we will treat you with compassion and dignity. Where many lawyers just take sentencing for granted and take little time to prepare, we consider this phase of the case vital to the client and go above-and-beyond to achieve a lenient sentence. Avoiding jail or prison when possible is our top priority.

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You Need a Top White Collar Criminal Attorney to Defend White Collar Criminal Allegations in Michigan

When you are facing possible white-collar criminal charges, that means that the government has already started its investigation and is already 10 steps ahead of you.  You need to have the best white-collar criminal defense attorney available.  The law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has been representing people that are facing criminal charges or could be facing criminal charges for many decades.  Our attorneys are proud of their reputation for fearlessly and tenaciously standing up for clients against the government.  We never allow the government to cut corners or take advantage of the people we represent.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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