When watching the typical crime drama on television, one might come to the conclusion that white-collar crimes really aren’t that big of a deal. The individual charged gets a great attorney and is either found innocent or gets in minimal trouble. In real life, however, that is not the case. These types of crimes are taken very seriously by both Florida courts and Federal courts. The only thing that these crime dramas really get right is that you do need to get a great attorney if you want to have a reasonable chance at success! If you have been charged with any type of white-collar crime, keep these tips in mind right from the beginning.
CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY
Malcolm Anthony is a former special prosecutor of Economic Crimes in northeast Florida. He has been defending those charged with white-collar crimes since the mid-90s. This blog post is an introduction to what you should do if you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime. It does not give any legal advice, and is really just a first step in educating you about your options. If you or a loved one has already been arrested or charged, stop reading this blog now, and contact an experienced attorney. If you are in northeast Florida, please contact Malcolm Anthony to get the representation you need.
DON’T SAY A WORD
Usually, when first approached by law enforcement, one is asked to “explain” some financial accounting or some reason inventory is missing or some other suspicious activity in order to clear your name. This is the not the time to try to “explain” anything. This is the time to get an experienced attorney who can find out the facts of the case and discuss your answers with you first. If the police start asking you questions, or a prosecuting attorney approaches you to “make a deal,” or if anyone else tries to give you the chance to “explain” when you are suspected of any type of criminal activity, KEEP QUIET! Absolutely nothing good can come from talking to anyone about your case without talking to your lawyer about it first. Oftentimes a small misunderstanding or misquote, something seemingly harmless, can be effectively used against you even when you were just trying to explain the truth, so it is best to exercise your right to remain silent at ALL times.
CONSIDER ALL YOUR OPTIONS
When consulting with your attorney, make sure to go through all your options and discuss everything with them. There are some strategies and pieces of evidence that can not only help your case, but actually take the offensive against the state’s case. For example, gathering all financial documents or inventories or computer files which prove the transactions and providing them to your attorney first so he can respond to the state’s accusations with proof. Another common option is to settle any civil claim out of court, thus defusing any criminal case and which often may allow you to keep the details of the case confidential, thus protecting your reputation. Of course, it is also important to prepare for a court battle with a seasoned white collar crime attorney who will aggressively fight for your rights.
DON’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM YOUR ATTORNEY
Many people who contact an attorney are hesitant to talk openly with their attorney because they are embarrassed, or they want to maintain the belief that they actually didn’t commit a crime. Whether you are innocent or not, speaking openly about every aspect of your case with your attorney is the only way that they will be able to defend you effectively in court. Your lawyer can minimize the negative aspects of your case if you tell them everything. Your attorney is legally obligated to act in your best interest, and they are not allowed to share things you don’t want them to about your case.