Recent data from the United States Justice Department suggests that white-collar crime is actually on the decline. White-collar crime includes federal procurement fraud, arson for profit, identity theft, telemarketing theft and much more. As of 2016, the rate of white-collar convictions had decreased by 16.7 percent compared to numbers in 2011. 

If you find yourself in a situation where investigators interview colleagues of yours and seem to be on the prowl for information related to criminal activities, then you may wonder when you need to bring an attorney into the mix. The truth of the matter is that it is never too early to seek the counsel and advice of an experienced lawyer. The sooner you bring an attorney onto your team, the better your shot of avoiding conviction. 

An attorney can speak to investigators on your behalf

Investigators will most often speak to people at a company first before making any arrests. Investigators collect information in this manner to learn precisely what happened and who was responsible. Many people make the mistake of talking to these individuals without an attorney present. Saying one thing wrong could result in you incriminating yourself. With an attorney, you receive valuable information about what you should say and how you should say it. 

An attorney can educate you about the specific crimes on the table

From embezzlement to mortgage fraud, white-collar crimes can be extremely technical. You may not fully understand the potential charges you and your colleagues face, but a lawyer can fill you in on all the most important details. A lawyer will review the possible consequences should the court convict you of the crime. This allows the two of you to work better together. You will understand what your case needs to prove or disprove.

Even if you do not have any charges actually filed against you, an attorney will help educate you so you can avoid these messes in the future. A lawyer helps you be proactive rather than only reactive.