Criminal Law for Tax Offences and Commercial Criminal Law
Which are the typical elements of tax and commercial law?
The concept of commercial criminal law comprised the application of criminal law in the economy. The focus concerns also the relevant provisions of the criminal code, but important areas of the supplementary penal provisions are put into the foreground. For instance, these are the regulations of the Act on regulatory Offences (OWiG – Gesetzt über Ordnungswidrigkeiten) regarding the sanctioning of corporations, penal law on competition, penal law on foodstuff, penal law on medicines, insolvency criminal law, financial market criminal law and all the fiscal charges, especially tax evasion and voluntary self-disclosure.
The above-mentioned fields of law will be assigned to the criminal taxation law and positioned alongside to the commercial criminal law. An economic criminal offence in the purely procedural sense is, however, only a criminal proceeding, which is assigned to the District Court pursuant section § 74c of the Courts Constitution Act (GVG Gerichtsverfassungsgesetzt) of the court division for business offences (Wirtschaft Strafkammer).
Which is the difference between a commercial criminal offence and a general criminal offence?
In criminal law, a natural person can be „prosecuted“. This also applies to the commercial criminal law, with the consequence that the accused is a board member, a managing director or an executive employee. In addition, the investigations made by public prosecution authority can become really unpleasant, because the search at the premises and the offices will not be considered. Furthermore, the consequences of the search are particularly controversial: acting notwithstanding the responsibility can no longer been accepted after securing the evidences or after a confiscation.
In particular, a confiscation of the IT-systems (computer, software and data files), the securing of current dealing´s records, the taking into custody of the assets or the arrest on the basis of a urgent well-found suspicion, are serious consequences that have to be taken into consideration. In addition, in such cases, before an actual legal clarification of the matter, several years of legal examinations have to be considered as well.
When is a defence counsel required?
An attorney should be contacted as soon as possible, whether to declare and prove that no commercial offence occurred or to develop a defence strategy.
In the process an effective criminal defence would presuppose a complete and intense communication between the client and the defence counsel, in order to allow the representative to prepare a coherent and feasible system of defence –possible from the first statement– before the hearing.
It is advisable to follow the defenders strategy and to invest time and patience into the defence concept, without precipitously change lawyer or doing similar actions. For this reason, it is recommendable to select an expert attorney at the beginning of the defence strategy; for a second or third defender the viable alternatives are unnecessary severely restricted and the external impact avoidably inconvenient. Commercial Criminal Law legal issues are often really difficult and it is important to genuinely collaborate with the attorney.
What can we do for you in case of Criminal Tax Offences or Commercial Criminal Law issues?
We advise and represent companies and employees, in criminal tax proceedings.
Our focus is a preventive counselling but we also accompany our clients during the preliminary and intermediate proceedings and through the main hearing. If search measures are necessary, we support the communication aspect of the proceeding with the tax investigation and the public authorities.
Our legal activities include foreign trade and customs legislations. In commercial criminal law, we advise and consult companies and employee on intellectual property rights (plagiarism/piracy, also in the field of music or films/video titles, advertising violations, sales statistics, etc.) as well as in subsidy fraud law and criminal law on corruption and penal sanctions in the area of insolvency law, including the regular collateral offences. In these fields of law, we are also able to advice in case of fraud or allegations of fraud; even in particular situations, such as billing charges or bank and stock market crimes.
Our attorneys are also experts in environmental criminal law, including administrative or civil-law proceedings.
What do we need to handle your questions on penal law?
We generally must know exactly what actions or omissions are in discussion. In the event that the results of the investigation are already available, we will need these documents. Further details have to be clarified depending on the individual case.
Please note, however, that you will generally have to tolerate the investigations, but you do not need to support them. Typically, statements or "relevant advices" should be omitted. Instead, it is advisable to inform the employees not to make any statements, not to indicate any correspondence (police is not allowed to read any letters).
As an accused you have the right to have an attorney; do not hesitate to contact us.