As a Texas business owner, you are in a precarious position. You must work hard and innovate in order to rise above the competition, and you must do it while paying close attention to your legal obligations regarding taxes, employment matters and more. Under this pressure, it is not surprising that many business owners run afoul of the law.
Many of the charges filed against business owners are related to white collar crimes. A business owner may be accused of embezzlement for keeping money that should have been deposited in employee retirement or health benefit plans. A business owner may be accused of fraud for misusing credit card numbers or other customer information. A business owner may face charges of tax evasion if it fails to pay sales tax or other taxes. A business owner may be accused of predatory practices. In one recent case reported by CNN, a food business owner was even charged with the death of a customer because of alleged negligence that led to a salmonella outbreak.
What You Need To Know
If you own a business and you are facing criminal allegations, there are several important things that you need to know.
First of all, many white collar crime charges are preceded by an investigation. This is the time to take action. Having a lawyer on your side at this early stage in the process will better position you to defend against charges if they are filed. In some cases, early intervention may prevent charges from being filed altogether, or lead to reduced charges being filed.
You have the right to remain silent. Perhaps you do not believe you did anything wrong, or you made an honest mistake. You may be tempted to try to explain yourself to law enforcement or prosecutors. Keep in mind that everything you say can and will be used against you. To ensure that you do not say or do anything that could make your situation worse, you should enlist an attorney to protect your rights.
Business owners arrested for crimes need to understand that they are facing more than criminal penalties. A business owner accused of a crime will face the very real possibility of forfeiture of the business and business assets. The business may be shut down. Without proper handling, criminal charges could mean the end of your business.
You should seek out a lawyer who understands the unique aspects of defending a business owner accused of a crime. At the law office of Phillip A. Linder, we have more than 20 years of experience defending business owners against white collar crime charges and other criminal charges in state and federal court. We are committed to protecting you and your business against this serious threat. We offer free consultations.