No matter the situation, facing the criminal justice system can be intimidating. When the consequences of a criminal conviction can potentially lead to jail time, significant fines, and the loss of a professional license, individuals often feel the temptation to protect their future and freedom at all cost. Unfortunately, this can lead to errors in judgment that could have a negative impact on the overall case.
Here are three mistakes that must be avoided before and during a white collar crime case:
- Communication failure: It is not uncommon for individuals to attempt to hide information they feel might hurt them in the case. Whether it is shielding a reputation or protecting yourself from harm, it is crucial that you avoid this impulse. Even if you feel the information might be incriminating, it is crucial that your defense attorney has access to all the facts of your situation. You must trust the protections and confidentiality inherent in the attorney-client relationship.
- Speaking with investigators: The impulse to explain your situation and answer any questions from the investigators can be strong. Unfortunately, many people find themselves causing additional trouble in this manner. Investigators are highly trained and often lead a series of questions that could trap an individual into providing protected information. It is imperative that you only speak with investigators with your defense lawyer present.
- Delay and deny: It is not uncommon for individuals to continue down their original path hoping that these criminal difficulties blow over. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Investigators and government entities have often devoted significant resources to building the case for weeks, months or even years. It is unlikely they will allow this effort to go to waste.
White collar crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery or tax evasion carry devastating penalties upon a criminal conviction. As soon as you feel in danger or have received notice of an investigation, it is crucial that you seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.