27 Nov 23

How to Handle a Federal Criminal Investigation in New York City

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Last Updated on: 14th December 2023, 05:51 pm

How to Handle a Federal Criminal Investigation in New York City

If you find yourself the target of a federal criminal investigation in New York City, it can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. However, there are several things you can do to navigate the situation. This article provides advice on steps to take if you become the subject of a federal probe.

Get a Lawyer

First things first – get a lawyer. Seriously, it’s crucially important. The second you realize you’re being investigated, call an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney. Federal cases move quickly, and prosecutors have huge resources at their disposal. You need someone in your corner ASAP.

When looking for an attorney, prioritize experience and expertise over cost. This is not the time to bargain hunt. A more expensive lawyer with a proven track record handling federal cases in NYC is worth the money. Don’t just call your buddy who got you out of a speeding ticket that one time. This is the big leagues.

Gather Information

Next, start gathering as much information as you can about the investigation. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions – what exactly are the allegations against you? What stage is the investigation at? Have any documents/devices been seized? Getting clarity on what you’re up against allows you and your lawyer to prepare the best defense strategy.

Shut Up

Sorry to be blunt, but seriously – shut up! Anything you say about the investigation can and will be used against you. So zip those lips. Don’t try to explain your innocence to investigators without your lawyer present. Even casual remarks shared with friends could come back to bite you. Keep quiet!

Secure Your Data

Get your digital life in order. Investigators can and will comb through your online history with a fine tooth comb. Delete any questionable content on social media, texts, emails etc. And secure all your devices and accounts with strong passwords. Don’t give the feds ammo to use against you.

Weigh Your Options

Once you understand the scope of the investigation, discuss options with your attorney. Should you fight the charges? Seek a plea deal? Cooperate with investigators? There are always multiple routes, with pros and cons to each. An experienced lawyer can walk you through scenarios to determine the wisest path forward.

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For example, Congressman George Santos is facing multiple federal charges in New York including wire fraud, money laundering, and false statements. He could fight the allegations in court or potentially seek a plea agreement in exchange for cooperation. His lawyer will advise on best strategy.

Beware of Leaks

Be cognizant that details of investigations often get leaked to media before anything is proven. Mayor Eric Adams complained of “periodic leaks” regarding the probe into his campaign fundraising. Leaks can influence public perception before you have a chance to defend yourself in court. It’s frustrating but comes with the territory.

Watch What You Say Publicly

If questioned by reporters, tread very carefully in your responses. Anything said can and likely will be scrutinized. Deflecting questions by citing the ongoing investigation is often wise. Say too much, and you could inadvertently make matters worse…

When former President Trump has publicly addressed investigations against him, his remarks often generate as much attention as the probe itself. Per The New York Times, his lawyers argue his words are protected political speech. But they still land him in hot water. Better to say less until it’s behind you.

Don’t Lose Hope

It’s easy to feel helpless when facing a federal investigation. But don’t abandon hope! Plenty of folks emerge from probes relatively unscathed. With an experienced legal team guiding you, there’s always a chance of a favorable outcome. Stay strong and keep perspective that this too shall pass.

The most important takeaway – lawyer up and listen to them! This rollercoaster is much smoother when you have a trusted advisor helping navigate twists and turns. You’ll get through this!