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What Not To Do If You Are Under Federal Investigation

May 26, 2020

A federal investigation can be a worrying prospect for most people. Federal investigations often result in federal charges and the occasional long prison sentence. Individuals may be worried about their relationship with investigators and the potential for perjury. By following a few simple guidelines, individuals can ensure that their time under federal investigation goes as smoothly as possible.

Tell the truth

Individuals who are under federal investigation should always tell the truth to any investigator. They should take great care to ensure that their statements are truthful and could not be misconstrued as misleading or inaccurate in any way. Many individuals believe that this advice is given to prevent perjury. However, lies below the standard of perjury can also become problematic. A lie told to investigators may push those investigators to make an individual a target when they were previously only a person of interest. Prosecutors may be less willing to cooperate along with judges. In general, the entire tenor of an investigation may turn against an individual.

Do not talk to the media

Many individuals in high-profile cases have a large number of opportunities to tell the media their stories. The allure of a newspaper or television profile may seem irresistible. Individuals may feel like they have been wrongly accused and want to proclaim their innocence to as many people as possible. But everything said to a media outlet can be used against an individual in an investigation. They may give investigators new potential leads and lengthen an investigation long past its original end point.

Talking to the media also makes an individual seem self-important and self-aggrandizing. Federal investigators always suggest that an individual remain discrete about the details of a federal investigation in order to preserve the integrity of that investigation as it relates to other individuals. Speaking out insults the intelligence of a federal investigator and changes that investigator’s disposition to an individual. Talking to the media has a similar effect on investigations as telling any sort of a lie to an investigator. In addition to angering investigators, talking to the media may also violate gag orders that judges place on some federal investigations.

Listen to your lawyer

Individuals should, under all circumstances, listen to the advice of their lawyers. Many lawyers in federal cases have years of experience and a vast record of getting individuals out of investigations. They know vastly more about relevant laws and procedures than the targets of investigations do. The lawyer’s future employment and income resulting from a case depend on them winning the case. They have every incentive to fight as hard as possible in order to ensure that an individual wins their case or minimizes an investigation. The lawyer is legally forbidden from taking actions that are not in the best interests of their client.

Following the advice of a lawyer can help an individual avoid perjury and reduce the chances of an arrest or a conviction. Listening to and following the advice of a lawyer can also help an individual secure a better plea bargain. As soon as an individual is charged in an investigation, the prosecution and defense attorneys often begin discussing a potential plea. Prosecutors are more willing to work with a lawyer if they can trust that the lawyer’s client will actually follow what they originally agree to. Following a lawyer early on can help establish credibility for the later potential negotiations in an investigation.


A federal investigation does not guarantee charges or jail time. Many federal investigations sweep up hundreds of individuals in an effort not to file a vast number of charges but to find the truth. A federal investigation may be relegated to a few written answers and a short chat with an FBI agent. The best way for an individual to avert suspicion and close scrutiny is to act respectfully, tell the truth, and follow legal advice. These steps can ensure that an individual’s time as part of a federal investigation can end as quickly as possible.

What Not to Do If You are Under Federal Investigation

If you believe that you are being investigated, you should immediately contact a defense lawyer and start working to protect your rights and freedom. Federal investigations are very complex and can be tricky to navigate on your own. This is why it is important to work with a knowledgeable defense lawyer. Recognized as one of the leading legal firms, our team of licensed federal attorneys have years of experience fighting for the wrongly accused and are ready to step in at any stage of your criminal case to battle for you. If you are looking for a defense lawyer who is extremely experienced and values both your rights and future, our skilled private defense team may be the right fit for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the beginning stages of your case so we can start building a winning defense strategy.

There are a few things that you should avoid doing if you are under federal investigation, even after you have contacted a lawyer. These actions may hinder your chance to obtain a fair verdict and make it more difficult for your defense lawyer to prove your innocence. If you are aware of what not to do, it is easier for you to navigate the early stages of your case, resulting to a potentially more favorable result.

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

If you are being investigated for a crime or federal agents showed up at your front door and searched your home, your first instinct may be to talk about what happened with others involved in the federal investigation. This is not a good idea for two reasons. First, depending on what you discuss with others, you could be charged with obstruction of justice later on in your case. Second, the person you talk to could be subpoenaed, or forced to talk to the federal agents. These two results may have a negative impact on the conclusion of your criminal case and could potentially result in a guilty verdict or extended sentence. Know that the best thing you can do is keep quiet and resist the urge to discuss the details of your case with other people. While this may be struggle during the federal investigation stage, it will make your life a lot easier if you are charged with a crime.

Destroying evidence is the next thing you should avoid in the investigation stage of your federal case. If you are in possession of documents or electronic files that contain evidence related to your case, leave it alone. Remember, it is a crime to tamper with or destroy evidence. It may result in harsher punishments or a guilty verdict. It is easy for the government to prove that you are guilty of obstruction of justice as they are especially good at identifying when documents were modified or deleted.

Lie is the final thing you should not do if you are under federal investigation. Lying to federal agents or grand jury is treated as a separate crime that could possibly increase your sentence. You can plead the fifth and choose to remain silent if you cannot answer questions truthfully without incriminating yourself. It is a much better option to not say anything at all than to lie about what happened, because you will not be penalized for refusing to talk to the government. Always use your right to remain silent as much as possible, and make sure to contact a defense lawyer before you speak with federal agents.

Defense in Federal Criminal Investigations

Our skilled defense lawyers will ensure you know what is going on in your federal case at all times, as well as what you need to be doing to defend your best interests. As soon as you get in touch with our legal team, we will begin fighting to protect you and will advise you on how to use your rights to your advantage. Let one of our seasoned lawyers take control of your case to avoid common mistakes.

The first thing you should do when you find out that you are under federal investigation is to contact a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer. Having wise legal guidance at the beginning of your case is important as it makes it easier to prove your innocence in the long run. Call us today to secure a legal representation. We are willing to step in at any stage of your case and are committed to providing you with unrivalled criminal defense. We will review the details of your federal case and provide you with a free initial case consultation. If you decide you want to work with our defense team, you will be connected with a lawyer who has extensive experience in federal criminal cases, giving you the best opportunity at achieving your desired result.



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