You just found out that your spouse is facing serious charges for alleged criminal activity. You are in disbelief, it feels as though everyone is against you, and you need guidance.
Although you may be in shock, you should know that the actions you take can help or harm your family. If you partake in illegal activity, knowingly or unknowingly, in the wake of your spouse’s arrest or indictment, you could face criminal charges too.
What is white-collar crime?
Initially, you may not even understand the charges against your spouse. There are a variety of illegal actives that fall under the umbrella of white-collar crime, including but not limited to:
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
- Ponzi schemes
- Public corruption
- Tax evasion
Often, when a spouse found guilty—or simply accused of a crime—the other spouse will suffer repercussions. Even if they were unaware of the illegal activity, they might be placed under investigation. Subsequently, they may face economic, social or other ramifications.
What might happen to you and your family?
One spouse can face consequences of the other’s actions regardless of whether or not they were cognizant of the criminal activity. It would help if you were mindful of the following:
- Your assets could be seized along with your spouses
- You can get in legal trouble if you move money or assets after your spouse’s indictment
- You may be better protected by hiring a separate attorney from your spouse
- You may need to get a job to keep your family afloat
It could take up to four years from the initial investigation to final sentencing. Undoubtedly, this will be a difficult time for you and your family. First, ensure you are legally protected, then reach out to friends, family or support groups for emotional guidance, if you choose.