Over the course of the next 10 weeks, this series will explain the steps of a Federal Criminal Case. We begin with step one: Federal Investigation.
A federal investigation is the first step in the federal criminal justice process. Many people are unaware that they are being investigated until after they’ve already participated in their own investigation. Sometimes, the government may send you a letter in the mail letting you know that you’re being investigated. However, the government can and will take a more dramatic approach by doing the following:
1. Call you on the phone and ask for you to come in “just to talk”;
2. Federal agents may show up unannounced at your home, place of business or other location that you frequent, and try to interrogate you; or
3. A federal agent will execute a search warrant at your home or place of business.
Usually by this time, the government will inform you that you have been under investigation for months or maybe even years! These events can happen in sequence or, often times, they all happen at once.
If you find out you are a subjector targetto an investigation, you will want to immediately hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is practicing in your area. Do not speak or write to anyone else about the investigation without first consulting your attorney. Because as most people know, and as they say: Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.
Stay tuned for the next step in this series!
Best for now,
According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a “subject” is: “a person whose conduct is within the scope of a Grand Jury’s investigation.”
A target is a person for whom the government believes there’s substantial evidence that person has committed a crime.