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Always watch what you say when accused of white collar crime

Facing charges for alleged white collar crimes is not something to take lightly, no matter who you are or the nature of the allegations. As recent headlines make clear, even very wealthy and experienced individuals may face the music just like anybody else.

In every area of criminal defense, it is always wise for a defendant to avoid speaking about allegations before they are settled. Just as you should not volunteer information to a police officer who pulls you over, it is unwise to give any party information about the charges, unless they represent you as your attorney. Not only may anything you say come back to haunt you in court, the more details that prosecutors have to work with, the more convincingly they can make their case.

If you face white collar charges, do not waste any more time worrying about what to do. You must build a strong legal defense as soon as you can, using high-calibre legal resources and guidance, and then commit to remaining quiet about the matter to friends, family and colleagues until it resolves. Failing to do so leaves you with few ways to protect your rights and future security.

Silence may grant you the benefit of doubt

When a judge considers white collar allegations, they often look to the defendant's past conduct to add context to the charges. This is also done in other cases, such as robbery or drunk driving.

However, in white collar cases, it is common for defendants to have fairly clean criminal records. If you do not have an existing criminal record, or if it only features some small infractions or misdemeanors, then the judge presiding over your case does not have criminal history to suggest your guilt. While a judge may not assume guilt on the part of a defendant because of previous charges or convictions, character witnesses and indications of inclination to criminal activity do matter.

When you find yourself facing charges, you may feel a great urge to try and explain your way out of the mess. This is normal, especially if you believe that you've done nothing wrong and that your trouble is a misunderstanding, or worse, a set-up. You must fight the urge to explain, both to law enforcement and to those you love, for your sake and for theirs.

Don't involve the ones you love

Confiding only in your legal counsel can be very difficult, but it is the wisest, safest path. If you choose to speak about the matter to colleagues, friends, and even family members, they may all receive subpoenas to testify against you.

Not only does this place enormous strain on your relationships, it may compromise others who feel pressure to lie or shade the truth to protect you. If they do, they may face criminal charges of their own. The risks for everyone involved are simply too great.

Protecting your rights and future freedoms is no easy task, and the process is rarely quick. Until the storm passes, it is wise to put your head down and construct a strong legal strategy, speaking about the charges only to your counsel, or in the presence of your counsel.

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