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What Do I Do First If I Am Involved in a Federal Investigation?

July 9, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

When you initially discover that you’re under investigation for a federal crime, you may feel overwhelmed and not sure where to turn. Having a better understanding of the process will help lessen your confusion and lower the stress that comes with an accusation. 

Finding Out That You’re Under Investigation for a Federal Crime

There are five different ways in which people learn they are the subject of an investigation for a federal offense:

  1. A federal agent approaches you to speak with you. An agent may knock on your door and if you’re not at home, he or she may leave a card with a phone number.
  2. You may get a “target letter” from an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) that notifies you that you are the target of a federal investigation.
  3. You may get a subpoena for documents to the grand jury.
  4. Federal agents may arrive at your house with a warrant to search your premises.
  5. You might hear about the investigation from another person that you know, often after they themselves were questioned.

When you receive notification or you come to believe that you’re under investigation for a federal offense, you should contact a federal defense attorney as quickly as possible. An attorney will work alongside you throughout the course of the investigation process to make certain that you don’t falsely incriminate yourself. The sooner you contact a talented defense attorney, the better your chances are of arriving at your desired result.

Deciding to Speak with the Agents Investigating Your Case

Should federal agents attempt to speak with you in the course of the investigation stage of your case, take a moment and consider the outcome carefully before you agree to speak with them. Always bear in mind that you are under no obligation to say a thing. Agents will employ aggressive tactics that make you feel pressured into talking with them, but it is completely up to you. If you have already given information to the agents, sit down and do your best to remember what you said. This information will be invaluable to your lawyer as he or she works to come up with your defense. If you can do so, contact an attorney and don’t say anything until your lawyer advises you to do so.

Enlisting a skilled attorney to battle on your behalf is one of the best ways to evade a conviction and the harsh repercussions that accompany conviction. In the event that you’re involved in a federal criminal case, you should have a federal attorney who has experience working in very complicated cases. In the process of vetting a qualified lawyer, make a decision as to what qualities are important to you. Once you’ve found a potential lawyer, meet or call them to discuss the details of your case. If you are comfortable with the attorney, formally secure legal services and begin working to develop a winning defense.

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