The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is responsible for most federal criminal investigations in the United States. An FBI investigation covers anything from violent and drug crimes to white-collar and healthcare fraud matters. The agency has virtually unlimited resources and highly trained criminal investigators. When dealing with the FBI, you need to consult with a federal defense attorney who can be effective against this powerful organization.
Norman Spencer Law Group federal criminal lawyers have years of experience and the necessary resources to defend you in any government investigation. We have provided this short article to give you a general idea of how government investigations work and what one should and should not do when under investigation.
You may feel helpless, baffled, and frightened if you are under a federal investigation. We are here to help you.
How Do You Know You’re Under an FBI Investigation?
Most FBI investigations are conducted clandestinely. A target of the investigation may not know he or she is under investigation until much later into the process. However, there are certain signs that strongly indicate that a person may be a target.
The most obvious clue is when the FBI agents (or other federal agents) contact you for information. They may do this in a friendly and professional manner. They may approach you at your home or your work, or anywhere else and ask to speak with you. You may or may not know what they want to ask you, but it is always safe to assume that you may be their target. Remember, FBI agents are criminal investigators. All they do is conduct criminal investigations. If they try to speak with you, you need to be concerned.
There are other signs of trouble. For example, you may know that the FBI has approached your associates, co-workers, friends, or family members. You may know what this could be about. If so, you can assume that you will be involved as well.
In white-collar criminal investigations, federal prosecutors may inform you directly that you are a target of their investigation. You may receive a target letter that informs you of this. The agents may serve you with a federal subpoena for testimony and production of documents. It is known as a subpoena duces tecum.
Finally, the agents may simply show up at your door with a search warrant.
If any of these happened to you, you need immediate legal help. Norman Spencer Law Group is here to help you, no matter where you are. We have handled thousands of government investigations at all stages. Call us today for a consultation!
What You Should Never Do
Federal agents are trained to get information out of their targets. Criminal cases are like puzzles. They consist of smaller pieces. When prosecutors put all the pieces together, they have their case. The agents’ job is to find the pieces, i.e. the information. The best sources of information are the people involved in whatever the agents are investigating.
This means that anything you tell the agents will be used against you. Any information, even if it seems innocent to you, can be used against you. This is the most important thing to remember when dealing with criminal investigators, let alone the FBI agents. Therefore, we always advise clients not to speak with the agents and not to voluntarily give them any documents. This may seem like simple advice but it can have a profound effect on your future life. Countless individuals are doing time in prisons because they made self-incriminatory statements to law enforcement.
Likewise, you should never lie to federal agents. If you do, you could be charged with a federal crime.
In all cases, speaking with the FBI or any other federal investigators has a high risk of self-incrimination, and we strongly advise against it.
Is There Any Safe Way To Speak With the Agents?
As a matter of fact, you can speak with law enforcement in a way that your statements may not be used against you. That process is called the proffer. There are several types of proffers, and they are designed for the parties to meet and discuss the issues under investigation in a way that offers some protection to the person of interest. That would certainly be better than simply speaking with the agents. However, only an experienced federal criminal lawyer should advise you to agree to a proffer. It is not always the best way to approach the defense. On the other hand, in some cases, it is the best thing you can do. If you are under a federal criminal investigation, call Norman Spencer Law Group to discuss your options.
What You Should Do When Facing an FBI Investigation
If you believe you are the target of the FBI or any federal criminal investigation, you need an experienced attorney to help you as soon as possible. When federal agents pay you a visit early in the morning, you may not think about calling a lawyer first. We hope that you read this ahead of time, though!
The agents don’t want you to contact a lawyer because that would make their job more difficult. Don’t help them build the case against you!
Always be polite and ask for the agent’s business cards with their contact information. Tell them that you would be glad to talk to them but you would like to speak with your lawyer first. Tell them that your lawyer would contact them. The agents are trained to stop questioning their targets that wish to talk to lawyers first. This is really the only safe way to handle this situation.
The same applies if the agents serve a subpoena upon you. Call a federal criminal lawyer immediately.
Contact an FBI Investigation Attorney
After the agents leave, the next step you should take is to call our office. Norman Spencer Law Group is your best option when it comes to federal criminal defense. We have years of experience representing clients in federal or white-collar cases. We have defended people across the country and even in foreign jurisdictions. Unlike some of our competitors, we do not hire former prosecutors. All our defense attorneys dedicated their careers defending clients, not prosecuting defendants. These are two very different paths that require different skills. Defending is much harder and more challenging than prosecuting. We are creative, aggressive, and savvy in planning the best defense strategy.
Our federal defense team consists not only of legal professionals, but also certified fraud examiners, former federal agents, forensic accountants, and experts in various healthcare-related disciplines.
Call us today to set up your consultation!