Whether you should wait to talk to your company heads or go straight to the authorities depends on the circumstances of your case. Oftentimes, when people are roped into white-collar investigations, they aren’t able to properly assess their situation and what would truly benefit or harm them. Inability to properly assess where you stand in a white-collar investigation can lead to some monumental misjudgments and bad calls.
This is why it’s always good to have a third-party on your side, particularly one who is trained in the law and understands why a particular question may be asked, as well as the underlying statute. It is unfortunately very easy to get caught up in a financial crime without ever even realizing what is happening until it’s too late.
When most people think about financial crimes, they think of things people do intentionally, like robbing a bank or refusing to pay taxes. However, the vast majority of financial crimes are much more subtle. There are many scenarios in which a person can get involved in financial crimes unknowingly.
As an example, let’s say you are a party in a business deal that you believe to be legitimate. Let’s say one of your partners in this business deal is surreptitiously committing financial crimes related to the business deal. In that scenario, you could be caught up in what’s called a “conspiracy” to commit that particular financial crime, even if you never knew it was happening.
Those are the types of issues that an attorney can help you with, and are also the type of issues that you really ought not speak to the authorities or investigating detectives about without consulting an attorney. You may ultimately go on to talk to the detective or other authorities, but you should only do so if your attorney has approved the interaction.
If I Know I’m Guilty of at Least Some Involvement in a White-Collar Crime, Should I Just Turn Myself in? Would I Get any Leniency for Doing So?
There are some scenarios in which it makes sense to turn yourself in. However, like everything else, it depends on the nature of your case. In some cases, you may very well get leniency for turning yourself in. However, that leniency would only be the result of a contract between you and the investigative agency that is in charge of the case. Another term for this sort of contract is a plea agreement.
However, in order to get a plea agreement that actually benefits you, you need to bargain with the investigating agency. They will not simply give you the plea bargain for free. You must give them something that they want in return.
Most people trust investigations and trust detectives at their word. However, you should always remember that detectives are trained and allowed to lie to you in order to get you to give them information. They can manipulate you and make you think that you might get a better deal for revealing information than they are actually willing to offer you. This is a standard part of the training that most detectives go through.
So, no, it’s never wise to just give yourself up to the police with no game plan. You need to have some bargaining chips to wager in your negotiation with the authorities before you even think of turning yourself in. If you do decide to turn yourself in because it’s the best chance at a plea deal, you need to use those bargaining chips to the fullest extent possible in order to mitigate your potential involvement.
Should I Hire a White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney Before I’m Arrested? Will That Make me Look Guilty?
No, hiring a white-collar criminal defense attorney before you are arrested will not make you look guilty. Most laypeople might people think that it makes you look guilty, but it does not make you look guilty to the people who matter.
Ultimately, all hiring an attorney means is that you’re seeking counsel on a particular issue. It’s no different than going to a doctor. If you have an injury or illness or pain, you go to a doctor. It doesn’t mean you are definitely gravely ill. It just means that you want to get advice on that particular issue.
The same is true of hiring an attorney. When you want to get advice on a particular legal issue, you hire a lawyer. The authorities understand that. In fact, if a detective or an officer is in trouble, guess who they see? They go see a lawyer, too. That doesn’t mean they’re guilty.
It can also be compared to going to a tax advisor or accountant. If you go to a CPA, it doesn’t mean you are definitely guilty of tax evasion. It just means that you need to get advice about the rules and regulations that are put forth on the matter, and how they pertain to your case.
Can my Criminal Defense Attorney Ensure That my Company Preserves any Records and Information That Could Help my Defense in a White-Collar Crime Case?
This depends on the case. What your attorney can do is plan and prepare. This goes back to case strategy. Typically, in your first couple of meetings with your lawyer, you’re going to go through what’s called Case Strategy Meetings. This will involve gathering all available information, including starting to pull those records in order to mitigate your involvement.
Obviously, the goal of this document and information gathering is not to hide evidence. Hiding evidence is illegal. However, you may be able to pull information from your company to assist your case, depending on your company’s policies and procedures. These are the things that your lawyer can help you through, so that you don’t accidentally get yourself in trouble.
For example, let’s say you have to pull a particular record to help your case, but it was the only copy of that record. The last thing you want to do is be accused of hiding any type of evidence. To avoid those accusations, an attorney can assist you in doing things the correct way. An attorney will help you make certain that the company also has a copy of the record if they are legally entitled to one. This will ensure that you’re not only protected but that you’re also following the law.
For more information on White-Collar Crimes In Arizona, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 637-0240 today.