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Plea Bargaining After a Federal Target Letter: The Keys to Success

Plea Bargaining After a Federal Target Letter: The Keys to Success

Getting a target letter from the feds can be really scary. I know from experience representing folks in this situation. But don’t panic! This letter doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get charged or indicted. You still have options and defenses. Let me walk you through what to do if you find one of these letters in your mailbox.

What is a Target Letter Anyway?

A target letter just means the U.S. Attorney’s office thinks you may have committed a crime or have useful info about someone else’s crime. The letter will usually name the specific crime they suspect you of. It’s meant to pressure you into talking to investigators or pleading guilty.

But just cuz you get one doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get indicted or charged. The prosecutor still needs to convince a grand jury with actual evidence. So don’t freak out yet.

Okay I Got a Target Letter – Now What?

Here’s what I recommend if you get one of these scary letters:

  1. Don’t Panic – Easier said than done I know! But take some deep breaths. The letter sounds bad but doesn’t seal your fate. You still have options and defenses. A good lawyer can help figure out the best move.
  2. Don’t Talk to Investigators – After the letter, they’ll probably try to get you to talk or hand over documents. Politely say no – don’t provide anything without a lawyer present. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
  3. Hire a Good Lawyer, Stat – The most critical thing is to hire an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away. Don’t wait on this. Federal cases are super complex with high stakes. You need someone in your corner who knows the rules and pitfalls. Make sure they have experience with cases like yours.

What Legal Protections Do I Have?

Even with a target letter, you still have important rights, like:

  • Presumption of innocence – you’re innocent until proven guilty
  • Right to an attorney – you can have a lawyer represent you
  • Right against self-incrimination – you can take the 5th
  • Burden of proof on prosecutors – they must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

So don’t let the letter scare you too much. A good lawyer can make sure prosecutors play by the rules.

What Happens Next?

Here are some possible next steps after a target letter:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Hiring a lawyer to handle negotiations
  • Presenting info to prosecutors or grand jury
  • Waiving grand jury and letting charges get filed directly
  • Testifying before grand jury if subpoenaed
  • Proffer sessions with prosecutors through your lawyer
  • Plea bargain talks
  • Going to trial

An experienced lawyer will guide you in choosing the right path forward based on your specific situation.

How Can I Fight the Charges?

If you do get charged, you have options to battle the accusations, like:

  • Plea bargaining for lesser charges
  • Filing pretrial motions to get evidence thrown out or charges dismissed
  • Going to trial and forcing prosecutors to prove their case
  • Asserting defenses like self-defense or insanity
  • Presenting factors to reduce culpability

A good lawyer will pursue the strongest defense strategy for your unique case. Don’t lose hope yet.

What Could Happen After a Target Letter?

Some possibilities after a target letter:

  • Not getting charged due to lack of evidence
  • Getting charged but having charges dismissed before trial
  • Plea bargaining for reduced charges
  • Going to trial and being found not guilty
  • Getting convicted at trial and facing sentencing

Outcomes vary widely after a target letter. An experienced lawyer gives you the best shot at the most favorable result. Don’t panic and make sure you get a good attorney on your side!

The bottom line is don’t ignore a target letter. Get a highly qualified federal criminal defense lawyer on your side immediately. They can help protect your rights and work for the best possible outcome given the circumstances.

With the right legal help, even a scary target letter doesn’t have to mean your case is hopeless. So take a deep breath and focus on finding the best attorney you can. There are still options and defenses available to you.

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