Woman asking hard questions

Topic: Fraud

Deciding on which lawyer to hire is one of the most important decisions you will make in defending against allegations of fraud, whether you learn about an investigation while it is still ongoing or whether you learn about an investigation after you’ve been charged. As soon as you learn that you’re a person of interest, call a New York criminal defense lawyer. Don’t waste time when it comes to protecting your rights.

When you’re ready to consult an attorney, prepare your questions and contact Protass Law PLLC. You can reach us at (212) 455-0335 or online. We’re here to explain your options and defend you if charges are actually leveled against you for having allegedly engaged in financial fraud.

1. Have You Handled Similar Cases?

One of the most critical factors to consider in hiring the right attorney is finding someone who’s handled cases like yours before. During your consultation, explain your circumstances and, if you have already been charged, share the charging documents. Ask the attorney whether s/he has handled many cases like yours before.

Types of Fraud Cases

Here are some of the various fraud crimes you may be charged with:

2. What Were the Outcomes of Those Cases?

It isn’t enough that a lawyer has handled similar cases. You want to know the outcomes of those cases. A positive result in a fraud case will undoubtedly vary depending on the case, but it could include:

  • The avoidance of charges
  • Dismissal of charges
  • Reduction of charges
  • Favorable plea results
  • Winning acquittals at trial
  • Preventing or minimizing monetary penalties

You can review some examples of Protass Law PLLC’s case results here.

Keep in mind that even a consultation with an attorney is protected by the attorney-client privilege. You, therefore, should speak candidly with any attorney you consult.

3. Do You Have Relationships With Financial Experts?

The money and paper trails are essential pieces of evidence in any white-collar case. You, therefore, may need a forensic accountant or other financial expert to assist in building your defense. You, therefore, should ask any lawyer with whom you consult about their relationships with experts who may be relevant to your case.

4. Do You Have Relationships With Regulatory Agencies?

Many white-collar cases also involve regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or the Internal Revenue Service. And those types of cases differ considerably from criminal cases. So, even if you avoid charges or a conviction, you may still face monetary penalties. Pick an attorney who is experienced in both the criminal and civil elements of any white-collar case.

Ask a prospective lawyer about whether they’ve represented anyone before these agencies successfully.

5. What Are Your Fees?

You should understand a law firm’s fee agreement before signing on with a defense attorney. These cases can get complicated and may require outside resources. You should be aware of these costs. Ask about the attorney’s hourly fee and ask if the attorney works on a flat-fee basis.

Call Protass Law PLLC Right Away

Contact attorney Harlan Protass if you receive a:

  • Call or visit from law enforcement
  • Subpoena
  • Target letter
  • Letter from a regulatory agency

As a white-collar crime lawyer with over 25 years of experience, Harlan Protass has represented many individuals in financial fraud criminal cases in both state and federal court as well as before the SEC, FINRA, the IRS, the New York Department of Banking, and a variety of other governmental, regulatory and self-regulatory authorities. His extensive network of relationships with independent financial experts has helped a number of his clients proactively address accusations of fraud.

No matter how you learn about a fraud investigation, your best move is to hire an attorney as soon as practicable. Harlan Protass can represent you in state and federal court and before any governmental, regulatory or self-regulatory agency. Call us at (212) 455-0335 or use our online form to schedule an initial consultation. We’ll walk you through your options and speak with you about next steps in your case.