If any of the following happens to you, it’s a sure sign that you’re under investigation for a white collar crime.
- You receive a target letter. This is a notice from the United States Attorney’s Office advising that you are the target of a federal investigation.
- You are subpoenaed. This document requires you to provide testimony or documents to aid in a white-collar crime investigation.
- A federal agent visits you. If an agent from a federal law enforcement branch, such as the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission, or Internal Revenue Service come to your home, advise them that you are seeking legal representation and can’t answer any questions. And whatever you do, don’t tell them anything that can later be proven false. Lying to federal authorities is a crime in itself.
Hiring a lawyer
Look for a respected lawyer with considerable experience in defending white-collar crimes, and be completely honest with them. Answer their questions as best you can and supply them with any records and documents that they ask for.
Your lawyer will contact the federal agent who approached you or the prosecutor overseeing the case and get a better idea of what type of evidence they have against you. At the same time, they will advise the government investigators that you now have legal representation.
Being investigated for an offense that could send you to prison for years is daunting, but no matter how frightened you get, do not tamper with evidence. Shredding paperwork and modifying or deleting electronic files that are relevant to a white-collar investigation is obstruction of justice and therefore illegal.
On a similar note, do not ask anyone to lie for you. It will make you look guilty if the federal prosecutor finds out, even if you really are innocent.
If you are indicted
If you are indicted for committing a white-collar case, confine all discussions about the case to your attorney. Anything you say to them is protected by attorney-client privilege, but your friends and family can be forced to testify against you.
Most importantly, retain an experienced white-collar defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us today for more information!