If I have committed a white collar crime but still have not been contacted by police, should I turn myself in before the police arrive?

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If I have committed a white collar crime but still have not been contacted by police, should I turn myself in before the police arrive?

I know that they will soon be in touch with me. I can not afford an attorney.

Asked on May 26, 2014 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Very commonly, but not always or automatically, turning oneself in, especially if one couples that with offers to repay (including over time, if you can't repay at once) any amount taken or stolen will lead to more lenient treatment and is often a good strategy. However, you really want legal counsel if you have committed a crime: even if you have to borrow money (e.g. from family; as an advance on a credit card), it is well worth while to retain an attorney with whom you discuss the specifics of your case in detail, and who can represent you. Experienced local defense counsel, who knows the players (e.g. the prosecutors and judges) can often help you get a substantial reduction in charges and/or sentence.


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