When you think about all of the crimes in North Carolina, white-collar crimes don’t always seem so serious – primarily because there is rarely any violence involved in this type of offense.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that crimes like fraud and tax evasion are absolutely victimless. For this reason, there are consequences.
If you have been charged with a white-collar crime in North Carolina, those consequences upon conviction are serious. Mistakes in or out of the courtroom may make the difference between a prison sentence and walking away free.
An experienced North Carolina criminal defense lawyer can help navigate your due process and tailor advice to your specific case. In the meantime, we’ll take a look at the mistakes white-collar offenders tend to make and provide expert tips to ensure you avoid them during your trial.
Talking to North Carolina Law Enforcement
Do not speak about the trial or give any information to law enforcement during the investigation. Even the smallest detail or slightest contradiction could be used as evidence in unraveling your account or to demolish your credibility.
If law enforcement tries to ask you questions about the investigation, consult your lawyer first. Do not give any answers until your attorney is present or has approved.
Talking to Anyone Else About Your NC Investigation
Treat everyone the same way you would treat law enforcement. Details that you share with friends and family could come back to bite you if they have to take the stand.
People at work or even people eavesdropping in public could turn on you. Leave discussions of the investigation under the protection of client-attorney privilege.
Forgetting to Ask State Investigators for a Warrant
Lawyers can help you pinpoint any investigator or law enforcement officer’s unlawful behavior. If law enforcement officers try to seize evidence without a warrant, the evidence they find may be scrapped from the case.
Ask your attorney about appropriate procedures for how the authorities are able to conduct a search for evidence on your person or property.
Destroying the Evidence
While there are a number of unlawful methods of search, most law enforcement agents are well-versed in how they can lawfully search for evidence. They have a right to any evidence that may be helpful in their case. This shouldn’t incite panic.
Don’t try and destroy, hide, or change anything you perceive as evidence against you so that law enforcement can’t find possibly incriminating information.
Even if you do destroy evidence, you may not be able to destroy all traces of it. If law enforcement officers discover that you tampered with anything considered evidence, you might face an uphill battle – or worse, additional criminal charges.
Not Telling Your North Carolina Criminal Attorney Everything
Have something to get off your chest about the investigation? Share it with your lawyer. Share everything about the investigation with your lawyer.
Prosecutors are working day and night to find small details or evidence that will incriminate you. Your attorney has got to be three steps ahead of them in order to build a credible and effective argument in your favor.
Do not be afraid to tell your lawyer if you have some details that put you in a bad light. Attorney-client privilege protects this information from the courtroom – and this information is often the most important for your lawyer to know.
Tell your lawyer what they need to know about the case – it will only help you in the end.
Trying to Forget about the Charges
Don’t let these charges consume your every waking thought, but don’t try and put the investigation completely out of your head, either.
Take time to learn as much as you can about the charges against you and the penalties that you face. The more you learn about white-collar crimes, the easier it will be to communicate with your attorney and provide information to help win your case.
Start by reading up on plea deals. Prosecutors may offer these deals as a way to get a “light” sentence – but pleading guilty also results in an automatic conviction.
Your lawyer can walk you through the pros and cons of these types of deals and your overall options for fighting white-collar charges.
Remember, white-collar crimes are not always cut and dried. They require close attention to detail, hours of examining documents, and most importantly someone with an in-depth understanding of these types of cases and how law enforcement officials try to prosecute them.
Get in touch with a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer to build a strong defense, and start working with a professional who can focus all of their efforts on getting your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.