03 Aug 23

What Not To Do If You Are Under Federal Investigation

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 05:31 pm

If You’re Under Federal Investigation: What Not to Do

If you’re being investigated by the government, then you know that there are things that you should do in order to cooperate so that you aren’t charged with any further crimes. However, there are also a few things that you should keep in mind that you shouldn’t do if you’re under a federal investigation so that you don’t spend more time in prison or receive other charges. Keep in mind that a federal investigation is a bit different than one that you might go through with a state or city official.

Avoid Talking to Anyone Except Your Attorney

When you learn that you’re under investigation by the federal government, you should avoid talking to anyone aside from your attorney. Even if you’re talking to your family members or your best friends, you don’t need to mention anything about the investigation. The things that you discuss with the investigators should be kept between yourself and the officers. However, you should consider talking to an attorney so that you have someone in your corner who can advise you as to what could happen in court and how to proceed with your trial. Your attorney can listen to the evidence that has been submitted against you and listen to your side of the story to determine the best way to proceed with the case, such as accepting a plea deal or fighting with defenses against the prosecution. An obstruction of justice charge could be knocking on your doorstep if you do talk to other people. You could also try to get others to change pieces of information in order to suit your trial, which could result in charges as well. This is sometimes done when people are trying to find witnesses and want to persuade them to remember facts a certain way instead of the real way in which they occurred. If you talk to someone about your investigation, then the person could be subpoenaed to go to court. Officers can also talk to those you talk to and discover that you’ve tried to change the details about the investigation.

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Do Not Destroy Documents

Another thing that you shouldn’t do if you’re under a federal investigation is to destroy documents about your case. You will likely be given documents from the investigators about your charges. These should be given to your attorney to keep in a file as they can help in your case when you go to court. If there are any documents that you already have pertaining to your case, you should try to keep them in a file as well. These details can sometimes be beneficial for your case when you go to court, especially if they offer an alibi for the charges that you have received or if there is information pertaining to someone else possibly committing the crime instead of you. If you have documents that present evidence against you, then you should keep these as well, giving them to your attorney so that you can plan a defense that is in your benefit. If you do destroy anything that could be considered as evidence, then you could be charged with obstruction of justice. This means that you could spend more time in prison or be subject to higher fines.

Do Not Destroy Electronic Devices

Electronic devices including computers and phones often have details on them that federal investigators can easily find. Sometimes, it’s this information that can lead to your charges or the reason as to why you’re under an investigation. If you try to destroy the electronic evidence against you, don’t think that you’re in the clear as federal officials can easily track down these details. The only way that you would be able to destroy this kind of evidence would be to destroy the hard drive of the device. However, if investigators have already discovered information, then they likely have their own copies and don’t care about the hard drive of your device. You should also avoid altering the information on your files as this could result in just as many issues as deleting documents.


A federal investigation can be a worrying prospect for most people. By following a few simple guidelines, individuals can ensure that their time under federal investigation goes as smoothly as possible. It is important to tell the truth, avoid talking to the media, and listen to your lawyer. These steps can help an individual avoid perjury, reduce the chances of an arrest or conviction, and secure a better plea bargain. Remember, a federal investigation does not guarantee charges or jail time, and acting respectfully and following legal advice can help bring the investigation to a close as quickly as possible.

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Federal Investigations: What Not to Do

Federal investigations are complex and navigating them on your own can be challenging. If you find yourself under investigation, it is crucial to contact a licensed federal attorney immediately to protect your freedom.

Actions to Avoid in the Investigation Stage of Your Federal Criminal Case

1. Keep Quiet

When you are under investigation, it is essential to resist the urge to discuss the details of your case with others involved. Talking about the investigation can lead to charges of obstruction of justice and may negatively impact the outcome of your case. It is best to remain silent and refrain from discussing the matter until advised otherwise by your attorney.

2. Maintain the Integrity of Evidence

Do not tamper with or destroy any evidence connected to your federal case. Altering or destroying evidence is a crime and can result in harsher punishments or a guilty verdict. The government has the expertise to identify tampering, making it crucial to leave the evidence untouched.

3. Be Honest

Lying to federal agents or a grand jury is a separate crime that can increase your sentence. It is important to be truthful when answering questions. If answering truthfully would incriminate you, you have the right to remain silent and can choose to plead the fifth amendment. Refusing to talk to the government will not result in any repercussions, so it is better to say nothing than to lie.

Defense in Federal Criminal Investigations

By contacting a lawyer, you ensure that you are aware of the progress of your case and understand how to defend your best interests. Your attorney will guide you through the process and advise you on utilizing your rights to your advantage. Avoid common missteps by allowing a lawyer to take charge of your case.