Many people underestimate the severity of a white-collar crime investigation. They figure that no one was physically hurt, so the charges will not be that serious. Yet courts take white-collar charges incredibly seriously. The law has some tough penalties in place that can even surpass some of those judges hand out to people who have done someone physical harm.
Mistakes when under investigation could lead to additional charges, which may still stand even if a court clears you of any original white-collar charge that you may be under investigation for. As such, if you’re facing charges, you’ll want to avoid the following missteps to better safeguard your rights and options under the law.
Destroying or tampering with evidence
You might think quickly correcting a document you know was wrong or destroying paperwork could save your skin or that of others. It might, but if caught, it will make you look guilty, and you could be charged with obstructing the course of justice.
Attempting to flee
If you get word that law officers have entered the building and you fear they have come to arrest you, then you need to stay put and let them do their thing. Running or attempting to evade arrest could lead to additional charges, especially if there is physical contact between you and the officers. It could also lead to your injury.
Lying to law enforcement officers
If you are unwilling to tell the truth – or if telling the truth risks self-incrimination – then stay silent. That is typically the best course of action, regardless, at least until you have a legal representative by your side to guide you. Lying to officers or the court could result in perjury charges if you’re under oath and a host of other troubles even if you aren’t.
Facing an investigation can be a frightening experience. The sooner you get legal advice, the less likely you will be to make errors that could worsen your situation.