Some challenges with federal financial crimes are related to the volume of documents. The attorney must sift through hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of documents to find the ones relevant to their defense or relevant to what the government is exploring with their investigation. This means document management becomes an issue. The defense attorney also deals with several sophisticated people and must figure out everyone’s interests, understand how the government’s case is formed, and how the defense is put together.
Call a knowledgeable attorney today for more information about what to consider when facing DC federal financial crimes and the challenges of the case. A seasoned federal financial crimes lawyer could advocate for you and help you throughout the legal process.
When strategizing a defense for a financial crime, there are many factors a defendant and their attorney must consider. First, they need to understand the government’s theory when they are doing an investigation. The defense team should strive to know more about the company than the government. The defendant and their lawyer may be able to identify the government’s strategy or sources of investigation to determine strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes, the government starts investigating an issue that turns out not to be viable in the process but then stumble upon something that may be viable. It is crucial to strategize about those issues ahead of time to avoid being caught off guard.
When dealing with a government investigation of this nature, it is imperative to stay on top of all the players involved. For example, the defense attorney should have an idea of the positions of the chief financial officer, the general counsel, or the chief technology officer. The investigation becomes a puzzle that sometimes changes. The pieces may reconfigure themselves as the investigation progresses.
Deciding to settle or go to trial is one of the things to consider when facing DC federal financial crimes. There may be significant benefits to the company for negotiating a settlement and avoiding a federal trial. If a company thinks it might be under investigation, it should do its own internal investigation ahead of the government’s investigation to determine who is at fault and correct the problem. The company may be able to come to a settlement that does not involve the prosecution of the company. A settlement may be negotiated during the investigation stage.
There is an ongoing cost-benefit analysis in deciding whether to go to trial. One must look at what is being offered. Sometimes, the government offers a terrible deal. Even if the defendant lost at trial, the consequences may be no worse than the government’s offer and the risk may, therefore, be worth it.
If the government offers something better than what the defendant could achieve even if they went to trial, they might want to consider taking the deal even if they think they have a strong case. If the government offers a beneficial deal, it may save the individual money, time, and risk.
Most of the time, the government’s offer is somewhere in the middle. What is offered may or may not be good enough to justify not going to trial. The attorney may negotiate to a position where it makes more sense to not go to trial than to go to trial and presents that option to the defendant. The defendant has the absolute right to take or refuse the deal.
Uncertainty is the biggest risk of going to trial for a financial crime. No one knows what a jury will do in a financial crime case at trial. The defendant must decide whether the risk of going to trial outweighs the potential rewards.
There is the risk of going to trial and losing. That is always a risk because there is an overt and a somewhat hidden penalty for going to trial. In federal court, when a person does not go to trial, they get specific credit for acceptance of responsibility and for potential consequences, which reduces the potential penalty by a certain amount. If one goes to trial, they do not get that credit.
There may be ramifications for being charged in federal court. Publicly, it can be humiliating. It can affect a company’s and an individual’s reputation. A company’s business and standing in the business world and perceptions of consumers, may also be affected. Often, that is a big part of calculating whether to go to trial when there is the possibility of a settlement that stays out of the public’s eye.
Contact a lawyer today to learn more about what to consider when facing DC federal financial crimes.
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