White-collar crime charges, such as those pertaining to fraud and embezzlement, can threaten nearly every facet of your life. While they can certainly lead to termination from your job and derail your career, they can also put you at risk of being incarcerated for a significant period of time. If you’re convicted on these kinds of charges, then you’re also likely to be hit with massive fines and restitution that can leave you on rocky financial footing for years or even decades to come, too.
That’s why it’s imperative that you know how to appropriately defend yourself in your case. That all starts when you first come under investigation for an alleged offense. To ensure that you know how to protect yourself as fully as possible, let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that people make in these cases so that you know what you need to avoid.
The most common mistakes made in white-collar crime cases
There are a lot of mistakes that can be made when you’re under investigation for criminal wrongdoing. However, here are some of the biggest and most common:
- Talking to the police: A lot of people who are under investigation think that they can talk themselves out of trouble by sitting down with the police to explain everything. Unfortunately, though, this oftentimes leads to unwanted consequences, as the police are adept at getting you to say things you didn’t mean and taking your words out of context to make you look guilty. They might even use your statements as justification to obtain a warrant to search your home or business.
- Manipulating or destroying evidence: Even if you didn’t commit a crime, you might feel like there’s evidence out there that implicates you in criminal wrongdoing. Since that evidence is under your control, it might be tempting to destroy it, conceal it, or otherwise manipulate it to your advantage. But doing so is illegal, and the police and prosecutors will probably find out about it anyway. Once they do, they’ll use your actions as an indication of your guilt.
- Talking about your case to others: With the pressure of criminal investigation comes the desire to talk through the matter. Although discussing the situation with your spouse, other family members, or your friends might bring you an immediate sense of relief, it can actually be a huge mistake. This is because prosecutors can subpoena these individuals and force them to testify against you. So, you’ll want to make sure you’re careful with what you say to those who are closest to you, and if you need to talk about the facts of your case then you should discuss them with your attorney since those conversations will be protected.
- Hiding information from your attorney: To provide you with the best criminal defense possible, your attorney needs to know all the facts, even those that paint you in a bad light. If you withhold evidence from your legal team, then they might be taken by surprise at trial, which is going to be bad for you, as your team might not have a strategy in place to protect you at that point. Instead, they’ll be left scrambling to do the best they can.
Know your options for defending yourself in a white-collar crime case
If you want to protect yourself as fully as possible, then your criminal defense starts now. With that in mind, you need to figure out how to interact with investigators and other law enforcement officials, as well as how to control the narrative.
Building a crafty criminal defense can be stressful, though, as there are often a lot of moving pieces. But by being diligent, educated, and aware, you might be able to set yourself on a path to the best outcome possible under the circumstances.