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Mistakes to Avoid If You Are Under Investigation for a Federal Financial Crime

FBI Raid

It is easy enough to know that you should not panic if FBI officers show up at your door and want to talk to you, but it is much harder to stay calm enough not to make things worse. You are presumed innocent until you either plead guilty or a jury returns a guilty verdict, but anything you say can and will be used against you, including things you say before you have been charged with a crime, just because you are nervous. 

Financial crime investigations can begin for apparently trivial reasons, such as a bank notifying law enforcement that you have made several cash deposits of slightly less than $10,000. It could be because that is how much cash was in the cash register at your restaurant at the end of several consecutive days, but the police are suspecting you of money laundering. Your best strategy is to do as little as possible at the moment and to let the legal process, in which your rights are protected, run its course. 

If you are being suspected of a financial crime or conspiracy to commit a financial crime, contact a Texas white-collar crime lawyer.

Consenting to Searches

Pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, you have the right to keep your personal belongings private from searches by law enforcement unless the police have obtained a search warrant or unless you consent to a search. Once you give consent for the police to search your property, you cannot withdraw consent. Not consenting to a search is not an admission of guilt, just as remaining silent is not an admission of guilt.

Destroying Evidence

Tampering with evidence is a criminal offense in and of itself. If police search your computer and find incriminating files, there is still a chance to persuade the court to declare the evidence inadmissible. If you try to delete the files instead, you could be convicted of tampering with evidence in addition to your original charge.

Ignoring Subpoenas

Suppose you receive a subpoena demanding that you overtake certain papers or a device, such as your computer or cell phone, and you must surrender these items to the police. A subpoena is a court order, and failure to comply with it will only make your legal problems bigger.

Talking to Investigators When Your Lawyer Is Not Present

Even if you are sure that you have nothing to hide and you think that you know just what to say to persuade investigators that they will not find any incriminating evidence on your devices, resist the temptation to try to talk your way out of trouble. A federal financial crime charge is not a traffic ticket; you have much more to lose if your attempt to talk your way out of trouble doesn't work. The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to remain silent, so plead the Fifth if you are not sure whether answering truthfully will make your problems worse, or better yet, contact a lawyer before things get to the stage where police are asking you questions.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Criminal Defense Cases

Dallas criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are under investigation for a financial crime. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, in Dallas, Texas, to discuss your case.

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