White collar crimes are often complex and generally involve months and years of preparations before prosecutors bring a case. There is no official set of crimes under the law called “white collar crimes”. However, federal and state offenses involving fraud and finances are generally considered to be white collar crimes. These include crimes such as embezzlement, securities fraud, computer offenses, and identity theft.
Dangers of a Lengthy Investigation
Because white collar crimes often involve many different sets of financial records and a complicated set of facts, the investigations may take quite a long time. Law enforcement may want to speak with you on multiple occasions over the course of months or even years. The more often you speak to law enforcement, the more likely it will be that you contradict yourself or give incriminating information. Another concern is that the longer law enforcement spends looking into your past activities, the more likely they are to find something to charge you with, even if it is for a completely different crime than the one they are investigating.
What If There Is a Civil Lawsuit?
Another consequence of the sometimes-lengthy criminal investigation process is that those who have lost money may file a civil lawsuit. As part of a civil lawsuit you may be required to testify under oath and provide thousands and thousands of pages of documents to the other side. Your testimony and anything turned over in the civil case becomes a matter of public record and may be used against you in a criminal case as well.
While you may have the option of claiming your Fifth Amendment Right not to incriminate yourself, you must be wise about when you exercise that right. If you do not do so properly, you may still end up incriminating yourself, emboldening investigators, and damaging your chances of winning the civil suit.
Seek Legal Guidance
Once there are allegations that you may have possibly committed a crime, you need to find experienced defense lawyers who understand the law, how to represent someone during a criminal investigation, and the dangers of a civil lawsuit. If you do not have a comprehensive approach that includes all of these areas, you put your freedom at greater risk.
If you believe you may be the target of an investigation, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Do not speak to anyone about your case until you have consulted with a lawyer. Call the law firm of Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates at 630-933-8400 to schedule your free consultation today.