Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

“I THINK I AM BEING INVESTIGATED FOR A MASSACHUSETTS WHITE COLLAR CRIME BUT I DON’T THINK THEY CAN BUILD A CASE AGAINST ME” (PART TWO)

Last week, we began this topic. At the time, I signed off with the famous last words “Good question. Let’s start with it tomorrow“. Once again, a few “tomorrows” came and went and I was too busy fighting for “the cause” to post. So….please consider today “tomorrow”.

We discussed the realities about police involvement when approached by what appears to them to be a crime victim. However, what about when it is not a case of who gets to the police first? What about cases where you have no reason to know that there is even suspicion about your activity, much less an investigation? Often, we see such a scenario in Massachusetts white collar cases.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Healthy Paranoia When It Comes To Questionable Paperwork

Let’s face it…sometimes paperwork is not accurate.

Yes, it could be because of criminal activity. On the other hand, it could also be because of either carelessness, a simple mistake or something else other than criminal.

Unfortunately, the concept of mistakes has begun to enter extinction. These days, folks jump to the conclusion of evil intent. And if it appears that somehow the person causing the error arguably profited somehow, that is what the law enforcement “truth” becomes.

“Well, Sam, the police do not receive notice of these ‘mistakes’ through telepathy. Someone calls them. Why would those people assume criminal intent?”

Well, there could always be ulterior motives. They could range from revenge to wanting to cover up a mistake that the accuser actually made.

This, as with the question of actual factual guilt, varies from case to case.

The important thing for you to keep in mind is similar to the message in my previous blog. If an investigation is going on, very likely you are unaware of it until it is too late.

“What do you mean ‘too late’?”

I mean that often, by the time you are brought in for questioning, the investigators, both civilian and police, have already determined what the “truth” is. In any event, someone has clearly found what they are calling “evidence” compelling. Therefore, it is pure folly to assume that “they have no evidence.”

You must remember that evidence does not have to be absolute proof. Further, in a criminal case at least, the time for having to prove a case against you does not come until trial. That trial can be many months to a couple of years in the making. While some comfort, or relief, clearly comes from an acquittal, it is far better to avoid the criminal charges in the first place.

As discussed in previous blogs, nobody is going to give you back the time, sweat or money you have lost over the criminal justice nightmare. That is true whether you are, in fact, guilty or innocent.

“Aren’t there times where investigators are really reserving judgment until everyone involved is questioned and have not made up their minds when they question potential suspects?”

Undoubtedly. I have seldom experienced many of those, to tell you the truth, either through my own observation or from what clients have told me. The fact is, however, such instances are in the minority in my experience. The risk in assuming that a given situation is truly that…an honest search for the truth…is huge.

At least, depending on what you do in response.

You can risk it and go into the questioning alone, figuring you can either charm the questioners or simply tell them the truth as you know it. You may be lucky and be successful in that endeavor.

Not very likely though.

Therefore, my advice is still the same. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the moment you suspect there is an investigation, or may be an investigation.

Indeed, there are times that it makes sense to make a statement and submit to questioning. However, letting an experienced attorney who has seen these situations before guide you is your best bet in making the correct calculation.

Remember, a bell cannot be unrung. Once you make a statement, that statement is made.

You blindly rely on the integrity and open mindedness of those posing the questions at your peril.

Sometimes, a little bit of paranoia is not a bad thing.

Remember, just because you are paranoid does not mean that they are not all out to get you!

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