Being investigated for a white-collar crime can be a very stressful experience, but you need to take action as soon as possible. You cannot fight your case in any way unless you’re willing to do what you need to do in order to fight your case. It’s important to follow this protocol when facing investigation for a white-collar crime.
Find a lawyer
Legal counsel shouldn’t be considered optional when it comes to an investigation. Hiring a lawyer at the time of arrest means that you’ll have to do extensive catching up, which can make it more difficult to win your case. Your lawyer should be someone who is more than competent and knowledgeable of this area of the law. They should have a record of successful cases that speaks to their competence in this particular arena. If you have a lawyer on retainer for your business, they can be very useful as you work through your investigation.
Go over your case
Just knowing that you’re under investigation isn’t enough. Team up with your lawyer to research the case that the government is trying to bring against you. Your lawyer will be responsible for handling the various legal minutiae, but you still need to give them the information that helps them to prepare this. Don’t worry about saying anything incriminating to them in private conversation, as attorney-client privilege will protect you from it being exposed and used against you.
Get in touch with the government
Sometimes, it can be unclear whether or not you’re under investigation. Factors that make it obvious include a request to speak to you regarding a pending case or inquiries into business records. When you have a lawyer, they should handle any discussions with the government about your case. The government might be asking questions, but that doesn’t mean you and your lawyer can’t bring up questions of your own. You deserve to know as much about your case as possible.
What to do when associates are being investigated
Just because you haven’t been named in an investigation doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. If colleagues or others that you’re closely connected to (be they personal or professional relationships) are being investigated and you reasonably believe that you’re next in line, you need to get in touch with your lawyer and decide on the next course of action. Your lawyer will need to know as much about the case as possible to help you make your decision. They might advise you to get in touch with the government or to just continue preparing your case in the event that they contact you. Every scenario is unique, and your lawyer needs time to think.
For you to have a chance at success with your case, you need to have any information that will be useful readily available. A claim of fraud can be best refuted by having extensive financial records. Even if you’re not under investigation, you should have your most important files in a secure location, like in a password-protected folder. Information can also be collected by others named in the investigation. Be careful with how you do this, and be sure to only ask questions, rather than instructing them what to do. Attempts to prevent someone from testifying could be considered obstruction of justice and get you in further legal trouble.
What to say
The best thing to say when facing investigation for a white-collar crime is nothing at all. The only person you should discuss the case with is your lawyer. Sharing of information (including being investigated) with others could make them liable for interrogation and throw further complications into your case. You need to keep your profile low while you work on gathering information that will help you with your case. There might be a temptation to announce what’s happening to everyone you know, but it’s in your best interest to follow your lawyer’s advice and only speak if you absolutely need to.
You can’t will away a white-collar crime investigation. Paying close attention to any developments and following the advice of your legal counsel will help you in your quest to justice. Even if you do end up facing charges, your preparedness during the time of investigation will be a tremendous asset.
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