White-collar crime charges are significant. The mere allegations associated with them can damage your reputation and threaten your career, but a conviction can lead to prison time and derailment of life as you know it. We don’t say that to scare you but rather to let you know that you must defend yourself as aggressively and as early as possible when you’re under investigation for or have been accused of committing a white-collar crime.
The good news is that there may be several defense strategies that you can deploy in your case. But as you’re assessing those defense options, you should be aware that there are also several missteps that you can make along the way that threaten the viability of your defense. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the mistakes that are made in white-collar crime cases so that you know what you need to avoid.
Mistakes to avoid when being investigated for a white collar offense
Even though the burden is on the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, many individuals who are accused of white-collar crimes end up making mistakes that put themselves in the prosecutor’s crosshairs. Here are some of those slipups that you’ll want to avoid:
- Destroying, altering, or concealing evidence: Some individuals who are under investigation for a white-collar crime think that they can put the matter behind them by getting rid of incriminating evidence. Doing this is against the law, though, and the prosecution and the court are bound to find out, which will just make you look even more guilty. So, if there’s problematic evidence in your case, don’t destroy it or hide it. Instead, discuss it with your attorney so that you know how best to tackle it.
- Consenting to a search: The police probably aren’t going to happen upon incriminating evidence. Instead, they’re going to meticulously work to secure it. And most of this evidence is probably going to come from your business or your home. But you don’t have to willingly give the police what they’re looking for. After all, they need probable cause before they can secure a warrant. If you consent to a search, though, then you might give them evidence that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to secure.
- Talking openly about your case: When you’re under investigation, you might feel the urge to discuss your case with others who are implicated in the case or with those close to you to vent your frustrations and your fears. But talking about the investigation with others is dangerous. There’s a good chance that the prosecution is going to subpoena these individuals to testify in any case brought against you, which will put those individuals in a position where they’re forced to testify against you lest they get in trouble, too.
- Not being open with your attorney: If you end up securing an attorney to assist you with your case, they need to know everything. Remember that anything that you say to them is protected by attorney-client privilege, so you won’t face the same risks as you do when discussing your case with others. Also, one of the worst things that can happen to you in a criminal case is having your attorney taken by surprise. So, be open and forthcoming with your criminal defense attorney so that you can craft a strategy to best protect yourself.
Don’t let the prosecution steamroll you in your white-collar crime case
The prosecution is going to come across as competent and confident in your white-collar crime case. Try not to let that rattle you. By educating yourself on the law and the various defense strategies available to you, you might be able to be just as competent and confident in the presentation of your defense. Hopefully then you’ll be able to beat the prosecution and get on with your life.