White collar crime allegations such as those pertaining to fraud can threaten your future and your freedom. If you’re convicted of one of these offenses, then you could end up facing significant prison time as well as financial restitution that can devastate your financial standing for years, perhaps even decades, to come. With so much on the line, it’s imperative that you know how to appropriately defend yourself. If you’re not active and thorough in developing your criminal defense, then you could miss out on opportunities, thereby leaving you susceptible to the harsh penalties sought by prosecutors.
Mistakes to avoid in the early stages of your case
It’s also important to remember that your criminal defense starts the second that you learn that you’re under investigation. Your actions in these early stages of your case are pivotal, and they could ultimately mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. So, if you’ve been looped into an investigation and are worried about its implications, then you should diligently work to try to avoid these common mistakes:
- Talking to law enforcement: Law enforcement’s investigatory tactics are well-developed and skilled. This means that it’s easy to be lured into a false sense of security, oftentimes resulting in you letting your guard down and saying more than you should. Remember that your statements will be used against you. Even if you think that you can talk your way out of suspicion, chances are that your words are going to be taken out of context and twisted to fit law enforcement’s theory of the case.
- Destroying evidence: Some people who are accused of criminal wrongdoing think that they can get out of trouble by simply destroying incriminating evidence. However, if you try to do this, then the prosecution will probably find out what you’ve done. This incriminates you even more and leaves you susceptible to not only conviction, but also more significant penalties.
- Consenting to a search: Generally speaking, law enforcement must have a valid warrant before searching your home, your business, or your vehicle. While there are many exceptions to the warrant requirement, in many instances investigators are able to sidestep the warrant issue altogether by simply obtaining consent to search from the suspect. Regardless of what the police say, you don’t have to allow them to search your property unless they have a warrant or can articulate an exception to that requirement. You should never give your consent to a search.
- Not being forthcoming with your attorney: Your criminal defense attorney is there to help you find a way to beat the charges levied against you. That said, you tie a hand behind their back when you lie to them or withhold information from them. Remember, anything that you say to your attorney is protected by attorney-client privilege, meaning that it can’t be disclosed during the proceedings. This means that you’re safe to be honest with your attorney and doing so is the best way to ensure that you have a thoroughly developed criminal defense strategy. It’s also the best way to ensure that you minimize the risk of being taken by surprise at trial.
Don’t delay in seeking out the legal assistance that you need
There are a lot of mistakes that can be made during the course of a criminal investigation. That’s why you have to be careful as you navigate the process. One way that you can protect your interests is by reaching out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as you know that you’re being pulled into an investigation. By doing so, you can make sure that you’re not making any mistakes that may put you in danger and that you’re developing the best criminal defense arguments possible under the circumstances. Hopefully then you can find a way to beat the prosecution and get back to your normal life.