White collar crime allegations, such as those pertaining to fraud and embezzlement, can lead to devastation if you’re not careful. The allegations themselves can lead to lost employment and damage to your reputation, but a conviction can result in years behind bars, a criminal record that’ll make it hard for you to secure meaningful employment, and other collateral consequences that can negatively impact much of your life.
That’s scary and stressful, which is why you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself throughout your criminal case. And that starts with properly navigating the investigation. In fact, a lot of people who end up convicted of white-collar criminal charges end up there because they make big mistakes while the police are investigating them.
Mistakes to avoid while under investigation
A seemingly minor misstep during a criminal investigation can lead to your conviction. That’s why you need to know what mistakes the police and prosecution rely on in these cases and how you can avoid them. With that in mind, here are some of the biggest mistakes that you’ll want to avoid in your case:
- Talking to others about the offense in question: Many people who have been accused of a white collar crime know that they have a right against self-incrimination and that they don’t have to talk to the police. But they oftentimes fail to recognize that the statements that they make to others can be used against them in court, even if they confide in their spouse. Although there may be some protections here, they’re not absolute. So, if you want to talk about your case, you’re best off talking about it with only your attorney.
- Destroying evidence: Some people who are accused of a white-collar crime try to cover up any suspicions of criminal wrongdoing. They may hide, alter, or destroy records that seemingly implicate them in the offense. This can land you in even more trouble, as destroying evidence is a crime in and of itself. That aside, manipulating or destroying evidence makes you look even more guilty. You should instead trust your lawyer to handle the evidence from a legal perspective.
- Consenting to a search: Remember, before the police can search your home, your car, or your business, they need to have a warrant that’s signed off on by a judge and supported by probable cause. However, the police oftentimes sidestep this requirement by simply obtaining consent to search from the accused individual. This does nothing but set you up for trouble. Don’t feel like denying a search request makes you look guilty. You have rights and you’re simply trying to protect them.
- Not telling your attorney everything: One of the worst things that can happen to you in your criminal case is that your attorney is taken by surprise at trial. This may increase your chances of being hit with the worst outcome possible, as your attorney may be limited in their ways to defend you at that point. Therefore, regardless of how bad the evidence may seem, you need to be forthcoming with your attorney so that they can help you craft the strongest criminal defense possible under the circumstances.
Are you ready to fight to protect your future?
You have a lot to lose in your white-collar crime case. That’s why now is the time to start thinking about how you can get out ahead of the prosecution and build legal arguments that rebut their claims. Hopefully then you’ll be able to put this chapter of your life behind you so that you can focus on reclaiming normalcy.