Criminal Law

Important Things to Avoid Doing if You Are Under Federal Investigation

federal investigation

Discovering you are the target or the subject of a federal investigation is something that’s extremely scary. There’s an array of federal agencies that handle investigations, including the FBI, the DEA, and the ATF.

Also, there are other agencies that may investigate a possible federal crime. For example, the IRS may conduct investigations related to various tax crimes and white-collar crimes, which often care serious penalties if you are convicted.

Some Samples of Recent Federal Investigations:

How to Know if You are the Subject of a Federal Investigation

One of the most disconcerting things about a federal investigation is that you may not know if you are the target or subject of one. In some situations, a federal agent may request to talk to you, and this is an investigation that you are under investigation.

In other situations, you may receive a “target letter.” This lets you know you are being targeted with this investigation. Federal investigators and prosecutors may send target letters to give you the opportunity to come and speak with them about what they already know regarding the possibility of a crime.

If you are aware that you are the target or a subject of an investigation, you may not be sure of what you should do next. This is normal.

While you need to know what you need to do, it is also important to know what activities and behaviors you should avoid. Having that in mind, be sure to know what you should not do if you are under federal investigation.

Failing to Hire an Attorney for a Federal Investigation

If you are currently under federal investigation, but haven’t yet been charged with a crime, you may assume that you don’t need the services of a criminal defense attorney. However, a federal investigation may not lead to any criminal charges from being filed. In other situations, though, prosecutors may choose to pursue these charges.

The sooner you hire a criminal attorney, the better prepared you are going to be to handle the case if criminal charges are filed against you.

Failing to Enforce Your Rights

It’s understandable that people may begin to feel intimidated if a federal agent shows up at their door. They may begin to answer questions or even let agents come in their home without asking if they have a warrant.

Similar to regular police officers, a federal agent is bound by the law. What this means is that federal agents nor police can enter your home or your property if they don’t have a search warrant unless there is an exception.

Also, you have the right to have your defense attorney with you when you are being questioned by a federal investigator. Make sure that you are respectful and polite to a federal agent, but you don’t have to forego the constitutional rights when you interact with them.

A Criminal Attorney Can Help

Hiring a federal criminal defense attorney to help with a federal investigation is the best way to protect your rights. Make sure to put time and effort into finding the right one.

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