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How Do You Know If You’ve Been Charged With a Federal Crime?

July 8, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Key Indicators That You Have Been or Will Be Charged With a Federal Crime

Once you are being investigated for involvement in a federal crime, the likelihood is that you will know whether you have been charged with a federal crime or not. By the investigation stage, agents will probably have questioned you or loved ones, have searched your home or business, or have sent you a target letter explicitly detailing that you are the target of an investigation. All that said, the mere fact that you are under investigation does not mean you have actually been charged with a federal criminal offense.

A number of methods exist by which you could determine for sure whether you have been charged with a federal crime or not. However you find out, the key detail to keep in mind is that you need an experienced federal criminal attorney to get involved as soon as possible. 

How To Find Out For Sure If You Have Been Charged With a Federal Crime

If you have been charged with a federal crime, it would behoove you to find out right away.  The sooner you know, the sooner you can begin to fight back with an experienced attorney on your team. In some situations, it might be very clear that you have been charged with a federal offense. You may have been arrested and held, or perhaps you or your attorney were notified, usually via a letter, that you are being charged with an offense.

At times, it isn’t precisely obvious whether or not you have been charged with a criminal offense. Agents may appear at your home and question you. At this stage, it could be that you are merely a suspect, or possibly you are just being questioned in connection with the investigation of another person. Agents may also show up with a search warrant to search your home. Although a search warrant likely demonstrates that you are a suspect, and that a case against you is being constructed, it customarily comes before formal charges are brought. In the event that you are searched or questioned, however, you need to act fast to get in touch with a lawyer.  Your attorney will be able to keep track of the charges you might be looking at.

No matter the unique features of your case, working with a lawyer will empower you when you are up against charges, to know what charges you are facing and respond intelligently. 

What Should I Do If I Am Charged With a Federal Crime?

If you have been charged with a federal criminal offense, or even if you have been under investigation for a criminal offense, you need to get in touch with an experienced defense attorney immediately. A lawyer can help protect you throughout the investigation, and can advise you on what charges you are facing and what you need to do to fight back.

How Do You Know You’re Under Federal Investigation?

Indicators that You Are Under Federal Investigation

If you commit a crime that violates federal law, rather than having local police involved, a federal agency will carry out the investigation.  They will then turn their case over to a U.S. attorney to handle the prosecution. If you are aware that you are under investigation, you can start to taking steps to defend your freedom.  

But exactly how can you know when you are under federal investigation? Several potential indicators are outlined below.  If you want to cut out the guesswork and find out for sure whether or not you are under investigation, then you should retain a federal defense attorney who has experience defending clients in the early stages of federal criminal cases.

Has a Federal Agent Approached You and Questioned You?

If, at this stage, you have been questioned, or a loved one has been questioned by federal agents, then you may be under investigation for a crime. Even if you are still unsure whether you are the suspect of an investigation or otherwise involved in the investigation, it is crucial that you have a lawyer on your side protecting you. Indeed, potential jail time, fines, and more are on the line.  Taking action right away at this stage is imperative to defend your rights and your freedom.  

Am I the Subject of an Investigation by A Federal Agency Investigating?

Customarily, you will learn that you are under investigation when agents arrive at your door, or otherwise contact you to ask you questions about a case you are suspected in. You might also hear from people that you know that agents are asking questions about you. In some cases, agents may tell you explicitly that you are the subject of their investigation.  Sometimes they may simply ask questions without making you aware of how you are connected to the case. You are not obligated to speak with them if they do show up.  Consult with your lawyer before you say anything.  

In the event that agents come with a search warrant, it is much more certain that you are indeed the subject of the investigation. To learn more about fighting a warrant and the other tactics agencies like the FBI or DEA could employ to come against you, contact a federal defense lawyer. A good attorney with specialized knowledge in this area will know how to deal with federal investigations and charges.  He or she can help you take the steps required to defend your rights throughout every phase of your case.

Federal target letters and Federal Charges

Under some circumstances, it will be quite evident that you are the subject of an investigation, because at some stage, you may receive a letter stating that you are the target of a federal investigation. The target letters will sometimes contain a request that you come in and meet with investigators or a member of the U.S. attorney’s office. You should not attempt to respond to a target letter on your own.  A skilled attorney can handle that task on your behalf and protect your best interests in the process.  

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