White-collar crimes are typically sophisticated, non-violent ways that involve illegal attempts to extort money from others or avoid paying what you owe. Bribery, tax evasion, receiving kickbacks, and money laundering are just some of the examples of white-collar crime. The consequences of a conviction can be severe since the government typically prosecutes them at the federal level.
It is easy to feel intimidated when you are under investigation or charged with a white-collar crime. However, it is essential to understand your rights, so you don’t incriminate yourself. You should contact a white-collar crime attorney the first time you receive communication from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or another high-level federal government agency.
Other Indications That a Federal Agency is Investigating You
In addition to getting a letter from one of the agencies listed above, you could also receive a search warrant informing you that a federal agency intends to seize your business or personal records. Another possibility is that you receive a grand jury subpoena ordering you to surrender them. In either case, it is critical to speak to an attorney specializing in white collar crimes before taking any action.
Do Not Give a Statement to Investigators
If an investigator attempts to interview you, say nothing and refuse to cooperate in any manner. All American citizens have the right not to provide self-incriminating evidence, even when the prosecutor is the federal government. If the investigator appears friendly, keep in mind that his or her job is to build a case against you. This person is not interested in hearing any defense that you may have.
Seek Legal Representation Early
Time is of the essence in all criminal cases, but especially those involving white collar crimes. The longer you delay hiring a defense attorney, the more time the government has to build a case against you. However, it’s also important to interview at least two potential attorneys to ensure that you choose one who has the experience to help you fight the charge.