White-collar crimes are nonviolent offenses that employ fraud or deceit for financial gain. Depending on the alleged crime, you may be investigated and charged by state or federal authorities. In Ohio, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the Attorney General’s Office handles white-collar crimes.
Federal white-collar crimes generally carry heavier penalties than state offenses and are likely to be handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, Secret Service, or the criminal investigatory division (CID) of another federal department or agency.
If you believe you are under investigation for a white-collar crime, consider the following recommendations:
Do not consent to a search — Unless law enforcement officers have a warrant to search your home, car or private office, they cannot do so without your consent. If you consent to a search without first consulting a lawyer, you may severely jeopardize your defense.
Remain silent — If law enforcement officers attempt to question you, you have the right to remain silent. You should exercise that right. Nothing you can say will help you; it can only hurt you.
Consult an attorney — If the authorities contact you in connection with an investigation, immediately retain an attorney. If you are already under arrest, you should end any questioning by politely requesting counsel.