There’s no real way to predict whether you’ll ever be involved in a white collar criminal investigation. Even if you don’t do anything wrong, you could still end up in an investigator’s sights if you’re connected on a personal or professional level to someone who did do something wrong.
That’s why everyone should know how to handle themselves if they’re ever interviewed by law enforcement authorities. Here are the main things you need to remember:
Know your rights and assert them
It isn’t enough to know that you have rights against unreasonable search and seizure if you don’t assert those rights. A lot of people are afraid to assert their rights because they’re concerned that it will make them “look guilty” in the eyes of investigators.
The harsh truth of the matter is that from the moment you become a focus of the investigation, investigators already think you are guilty. They aren’t trying to determine if a crime happened so much as they’re trying to find proof of the crime they think happened. You won’t look less guilty if you fail to assert your rights and insist on a warrant and the presence of a criminal defense attorney to protect you; you’ll simply look naive.
Don’t ever lie to law enforcement
There’s a bit of a double standard in place when it comes to law enforcement: The authorities are allowed to lie to you, but lying to the authorities is a crime.
No matter what else you may have done or not done, you can end up being prosecuted for obstruction of justice and serve a significant amount of jail time.
Don’t talk to anybody about your case
Anybody — from your best friend to your boss — stands a chance of being pulled into an investigation if authorities are determined enough and the stakes are high. Don’t discuss your case with anybody. Don’t post about it on social media. The only person you should discuss your situation with is your defense attorney.
Understanding how to handle yourself in the midst of a white collar criminal investigation, whether you’re innocent or not, is the only real way to protect your future. If you need more advice about a specific situation, an attorney can help you better understand your options.