You have received notice you are the target of a white collar crime investigation. Or perhaps it is your company that is in the sights of a federal agency, but the outcome will significantly impact your career and possibly expose you to legal and/or civil proceedings. The decisions you make at this time will have a sharp impact on your future. Following are three mistakes that can hurt your chances of achieving the best outcome.
Making careless statements to investigators
Whether the SEC, FINRA, the FBI or another government agency is investigating you, their investigators are highly trained at questioning suspects and persons of interest. You may be tempted to talk freely as a show of good will, but this is likely not in your best interests. A skilled defense attorney knows how to respond to investigators in a manner that is professional and respectful but does not risk incriminating you.
Failing to provide your attorney with key information
It’s understandable if you’re reluctant to divulge confidential and potentially embarrassing or even incriminating information, even to your attorney. But remember, your defense lawyer is your key ally in this matter and must know every fact that is pertinent to the investigation. Have confidence in the privileges afforded by the attorney-client relationship. One of the most harmful things that can happen to a defense case is for the attorney to be ambushed by a surprise twist he or she should have known about.
Delaying and hoping for the best
White collar crime investigations do not go away on their own, no matter how much we might wish they would. You have to be proactive at a time like this. As hours and days pass, the SEC, FBI or other government agency is building a case that may impact you severely. The sooner you enlist the services of an experienced criminal law attorney the sooner your lawyer can go to work building a strong defense for you.
Every case is different. With early intervention, it may be possible to clear yourself of any wrongdoing before any charge is ever filed. If the matter does eventually end up in a criminal court, you will be glad your attorney got a head start in defending your rights and your reputation.