Following an arrest for a financial crime in DC, it can be difficult to decide whether you want to go trial or settle your case outside of court. Each option has its benefits and disadvantages. If you want to know more about whether DC federal financial crime trials are a viable option, speak with a skilled federal financial crime lawyer that could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for you.
The major risks associated with DC federal financial crime trials depend on the state of the evidence. In most cases, a person could do considerably worse at trial than if they resolve their case out of court because there is a built-in penalty in the United States Sentencing Guidelines. If the case is resolved without trial and the person accepts responsibility, there is a three-level reduction in the sentence for the acceptance of responsibility. Depending on the judge and the facts of the case, that could be significant. If a person goes to trial and loses, they may be worse off than if they had pled guilty and settled out of court.
What to do in this case is always the potential client’s decision. A lawyer may conduct a fluid risk-reward analysis when evaluating the case. Depending on the facts, the judge, and the government’s offer, the lawyer’s recommendation of whether to settle or go to court could change. Sometimes, it makes sense to go to trial because there is nothing to lose.
When companies face DC federal financial crime trials, the facts of the specific case become public, which may help or hurt a company. When there are facts a company does not want to be exposed, it might make sense to not go to court and to resolve the case.
Sometimes, it is more important that companies protect their reputation. It may make more sense to deal with negotiating a tougher fine that keeps a company out of court rather than challenging the government in public.
There are key issues that must be considered before someone settles a criminal matter with the government. First, they must consider the particular facts of the case including the evidence the government has and the findings of the defense lawyer’s investigation. The cost of litigation must also be considered alongwith the potential penalty and potential reputational risk. Whether to settle is the company’s decision, but the risk-reward calculations allow the defense team to analyze and make recommendations.
A settlement may involve a record of criminal conduct or an admission of criminal conduct for the accused party. However, the accused party might obtain a deferred prosecution where there is no record of criminal conduct and no conviction or a criminal liability.
A settlement may influence the way a company is perceived by the industry or public depending on the circumstances. Many times, settlements areconfidential. However, sometimes companies do not want the settlement to be confidential because they are made without an admission of guilt. The company may want the public to know that a settlement was made without an admission of guilt and they paid a settlement amount to avoid litigation with the US government. The decision is part of the company’s public relations campaign.
When there is a deferred prosecution agreement and a company pays out moneywith no finding of criminal liability, that is usually a private transaction. Documents that spell out the agreement are executed and taken before a judge. The judge needs to approve the deferred prosecution agreement. When there is a plea of guilty that includes liability, documents that are executed go before a judge and there is a more extensive court proceeding that involves the admission of liability.
At a trial, the parties involved in the process are the person and/or company accused of federal financial crimes, the legal team for the accused party, case agents, and the prosecutor. If an individual wants to know more about DC federal financial crime trials and whether or not settling is right for them, they should speak with a skilled federal financial crimes lawyer.
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