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What Not to Do If You are Under Federal Investigation

July 9, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Federal investigations are exceedingly complex and can be difficult to navigate on your own. From the moment you suspect that you’re under investigation, you should contact a licensed federal attorney and start working to protect your freedom. 

Even after you’ve contacted an attorney, there are several things that you should avoid doing if you are subject to a federal investigation. These actions could hinder your chances of receiving a fair verdict and make it more difficult for your lawyer to prove your innocence. Being aware of what not to do will make it easier for you to navigate the beginning stages of your case, hopefully resulting in a more favorable outcome.

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

Keep Quiet

When you’re under investigation for a crime or federal agents came to your front door with a warrant and searched your home, your first instinct may be to talk about what happened with others who are involved in the investigation. This is a very bad idea for two reasons. 

Both outcomes could have a profoundly negative impact on the results of your case, potentially resulting in a guilty verdict or extended sentence. The best course of action is to keep quiet and resist the urge to talk about the details of your case with others. While this may be rather tough for you during the investigation stage, it will make your life a lot easier if you are eventually charged with a crime.

Maintain the Integrity of Evidence

The next thing you should avoid doing in the investigation stage of your federal case is destroying evidence. Should you be in possession of documents or electronic files that contain evidence connected to your federal case, you should leave it alone. It is a crime to tamper with or destroy evidence.  Doing so could result in harsher punishments or a guilty verdict. The government is especially adept at identifying when documents were altered or deleted, so it’s a simple task for them to prove that you’re guilty of obstruction of justice.

Be Honest

The final thing you should avoid doing if you are under federal investigation is lie. Lying to any federal agent or grand jury is handled as a separate, additional crime, potentially increasing your sentence. If you are not able answer questions truthfully without incriminating yourself, you can plead the fifth and choose to remain silent. You will not suffer any repercussions for refusing to talk to the government.  Therefore, it is a much better option to not say anything at all than to lie about any details. Use your right to remain silent as much as possible, and as soon as you are able, contact a lawyer before speaking with agents.

Defense in Federal Criminal Investigations

Your lawyer will make sure you know what is going on in your case at every stage, as well as what you need to be doing to defend your best interests. As soon as you reach out to our team, we will start battling to protect you and will advise you on how to use your rights to your advantage. Avoid common missteps by letting a lawyer take charge of your case.

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