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 white-collar criminal attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience handling street 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 before they are filed in court.

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. Many pre-charge opportunities are lost when a lawyer is hired after the charges are filed. Before being charged, the defendant has more control over the process, and the government has less invested in the investigation and prosecution. The defendant can earn consideration for early cooperation in those cases where the client knows at the outset that they desire a favorable resolution.


The pretrial phase is significant for the street crime defense attorney. Information is exchanged (police report, etc.), and decisions are made about filing motions at the pretrial. We use 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 choose between viable alternatives and options. During the pretrial process, the attorney must 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 trial on ordinary 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 highly specialized, industry-specific, and complex records for many lawyers to understand. The trial lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are accustomed to handling and defending complicated and intricate engineering, medical, computer, and scientific cases and defenses.

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:

Sentencing in Financial and Fraud Crimes

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. take sentencing very seriously. 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 treat you with compassion and dignity. Many lawyers 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 face possible white-collar criminal charges, 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 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.

If you call us for a free consultation, we will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

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

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