24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Client Testimonials

5

THE BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR.

The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

schedule a consultation

Blog

Cooperating With Federal Prosecutors After a Target Letter: The Pros and Cons

March 21, 2024

Cooperating With Federal Prosecutors After a Target Letter: The Pros and Cons

Getting a target letter from federal prosecutors can make anyone feel scared and overwhelmed. I should know – I’m a defense attorney who has represented many clients in this situation. But take a deep breath – this letter doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get charged or indicted. You still have options and defenses. Let me walk through what to do if you find a target letter in your mailbox.

What is a Target Letter Anyway?

A target letter simply means the U.S. Attorney’s Office sees you as a “target” of an investigation. This means prosecutors think you may have committed a crime or have useful information about someone else’s crime.The letter will usually name the specific crime they suspect you of. It’s meant to pressure you into talking to the investigators or pleading guilty.But just because you get a target letter doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get indicted or charged. The prosecutor still needs to convince a grand jury with actual evidence. So don’t panic yet.

Okay, I Got a Target Letter – Now What?

Here are some key things I recommend if you get one of these letters:

  1. Don’t Freak Out… Easier said than done, I know! But take a few deep breaths. The letter sounds scary but doesn’t seal your fate. You still have options and defenses. An experienced attorney can help assess your case and figure out the best move forward.
  2. Don’t Talk to the Investigators… After a target letter, investigators will probably try to get you to talk or hand over documents. Politely decline – don’t provide any interviews, statements, or anything else without a lawyer present. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
  3. Hire a Good Lawyer, Stat… The most critical thing you can do is hire an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer right away. Don’t delay on this. Federal cases are super complex with high stakes. You need someone in your corner who knows all the rules and pitfalls.Make sure to find someone with specific experience in federal cases like yours. Understand their background and track record too. This is your advocate, so make sure you trust them.
  4. Figure Out What You’re Up Against… With your lawyer’s help, assess what charges and penalties you realistically might face. This will help shape the defense strategy.
  5. Consider Going on Offense In some cases, it makes sense for your lawyer to engage with prosecutors proactively, before any charges are even filed. This can potentially persuade them to back off or at least soften their stance.
  6. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Cooperating… Prosecutors may ask you to cooperate in their investigation in exchange for lesser charges. Cooperating can be risky but may also help reduce your exposure. Your lawyer can help analyze whether it makes sense for you.

What Legal Protections Do I Have?

Despite getting a target letter, you still have important rights, like:

  • – Presumption of innocence – you’re innocent until proven guilty
  • – Right to an attorney – you can have a lawyer represent you…
  • – Right against self-incrimination – you can take the 5th
  • – Burden of proof on prosecutors – they must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

So don’t let the target letter scare you too much. An experienced lawyer can ensure prosecutors play by the rules.

What Happens Next?

There are a few possible next steps after you get a target letter:

  • – Hiring a lawyer to handle negotiations
  • – Presenting information to prosecutors or grand jury
  • – Waiving grand jury and letting charges get filed directly…
  • – Testifying before grand jury if subpoenaed
  • – Proffer sessions with prosecutors through your lawyer
  • – Plea bargain talks
  • – Going to trial

An experienced lawyer will guide you through choosing the right path forward. It depends on the specifics of your situation.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

How Can I Fight the Charges?

If you do get charged, you have options to battle the accusations, like:

  • – Plea bargaining for lesser charges
  • – Filing pretrial motions to get evidence thrown out or charges dismissed…
  • – Going to trial and forcing prosecutors to prove their case
  • – Asserting affirmative defenses like self-defense or insanity
  • – Presenting mitigating factors to reduce culpability

A good lawyer will pursue the strongest defense strategy for your unique case. Don’t give up hope yet.

What Could Happen After I Get a Target Letter?

Some possibilities after a target letter:

  • – Not getting charged at all due to lack of evidence
  • – Getting charged but having charges dismissed before trial…
  • – Plea bargaining to plead guilty to reduced charges
  • – Going to trial and being found not guilty
  • – Getting convicted at trial and facing sentencing…

Outcomes run the gamut after a target letter. An experienced lawyer gives you the best shot at the most favorable resolution.

Should I Cooperate with Prosecutors?

One of the biggest decisions after getting a target letter is whether to cooperate with the investigation. There are pros and cons to cooperating:

Potential Pros of Cooperating

  • – Avoid charges entirely if your cooperation is valuable enough
  • – Get charges reduced or plead to less serious charges
  • – Avoid harsh mandatory minimum sentences
  • – Receive a lighter recommended sentence from prosecutors
  • – Look more remorseful and take responsibility

Potential Cons of Cooperating

  • – No guarantee of receiving benefits from cooperating
  • – Still possible to get severe charges and penalties
  • – Prosecutors may not think your information is valuable
  • – Danger of implicating yourself if you aren’t fully truthful
  • – Risk of retaliation from those you implicate
  • – Reputational damage from being labeled a “snitch”

It’s a very personal decision whether cooperating makes sense for your situation. Your lawyer can advise you, but you need to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

What Does Cooperating Entail?

If you do decide to cooperate, it typically involves:

  • – Proffer sessions – Meetings with prosecutors to provide information. This lets them assess the value of your cooperation. You must be 100% truthful.
  • – Providing documents and other evidence
  • – Recording phone calls or wearing a wire to get evidence against targets
  • – Testifying before grand jury or at trial
  • – Submitting to debriefings about your knowledge of criminal activities
  • – Continuing to cooperate as long as prosecutors want

It’s an extensive commitment if you choose to cooperate. Make sure you understand what will be expected of you.

What Happens if I Don’t Cooperate?

If you receive a target letter but decline to cooperate, some possibilities include:

  • – Prosecutors may file charges against you
  • – You may be subpoenaed to testify before grand jury
  • – Prosecutors may take a harsher stance in plea negotiations
  • – You may miss out on potential benefits from cooperating
  • – Your sentence may be longer if convicted

Every case is different. Your lawyer can advise if not cooperating poses significant risks based on your specific situation.

Bottom Line on Target Letters

Target letters are scary but not the end of the road. Don’t panic or rush into any decisions. Hire an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of cooperation vs. fighting the allegations. An effective legal strategy can still lead to the most favorable outcome possible.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

view profile

RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

Associate

view profile

JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

Associate Attorney

view profile

ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

view profile

CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

view profile

RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

view profile

CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

view profile

Criminal Defense Lawyers Trusted By the Media

schedule a consultation
Schedule Your Consultation Now