White collar crime charges are difficult to face, no matter what field you work in or what the charges allege. Depending on the nature of the charges and your particular career, you may suffer significant challenges in your professional life even if the charges do not stick.
Whenever you face charges of some white collar crime, such as financial fraud, your next several choices are very important to maintaining what control you have over the situation. You should think very carefully about how you will respond to the allegations, and what messages your response sends to both the prosecution and to your colleagues.
Before you do anything else, it is wise to consult with a defense attorney with years of experience defending against white collar charges. The attorney can scrutinize every aspect of your circumstances and help you build a strong, personalized defense based on the elements of your specific case.
Remain calm but act decisively
One of the most common things those accused of fraud do that hurts them in the long run is attempt to cover up a problem when they learn about it. In fact, in many cases, the cover up does more to make them look guilty than the charges themselves.
If you face temptation to cover up a problem, consider consulting with an attorney first. You are still innocent until proven guilty, and cover ups do not help you appear innocent.
Remain silent about the charges
If federal agents show up to confront you with charges, you do not have to explain yourself to them. In fact, it is usually wiser to simply remain silent and reach out to an attorney to help protect your rights.
If you face white collar charges, one of the worst things you can do is talk to others about them. Your colleagues and even your family members are not protected against testifying in court if you tell them anything about the charges. It is wisest to protect the ones you love by remaining silent and securing professional representation.
Your attorney enjoys the attorney-client privilege, which creates protection for attorneys and clients to discuss matters privately. While a subpoena can compel your mother, wife or coworker to testify against you if you discuss the matter with them, your attorney does not have to testify against you. Anything you say to them remains confidential.
Build a defense quickly
The longer you wait to begin building your defense, the longer that the prosecution has to get ahead building their case against you. Just because you face charges does not mean that your career is over, but you must take action to protect your reputation, your rights and your future.