Criminal investigations lawyers help to protect people who are under federal criminal investigation. The prosecution’s only job is to convict you of the crime. It doesn’t matter whether you actually committed the crime or not. During the investigation, it’s important that you have a lawyer who can help make sure that your rights are respected. Without a lawyer, it’s easy to incriminate yourself without realizing that you are – even if you didn’t actually commit the crime.
Never assume that federal prosecutors or law enforcement are on your side. You might not believe that you’ve done anything wrong, but unless you’re familiar with every aspect of the law, it’s possible that something is amiss. And if you are aware that you’ve done something against the law, it’s even more vital to get proper legal representation. You shouldn’t believe that you can get yourself out of the situation without help. Smooth talking isn’t enough when faced with the might of the US government.
Don’t try to explain yourself, even if the person you’re talking to seems understanding. Law enforcement is trained to get you to make statements that they can then use against you. Only a lawyer can explain your rights and help make sure that they are respected throughout the investigation. Talk to your lawyer before you say anything to a prosecutor or federal agent. If you receive a subpoena for a grand jury, talk to your lawyer before handing over any information. You don’t want to give the court more than you’re legally obligated to.
A federal investigation occurs when law enforcement believes that a federal crime has been committed, but they are not yet charging anyone. If you are a suspect in the investigation, talking to a lawyer might help you avoid being charged. If you are a witness, it’s still important to talk to a lawyer, as you don’t want to say anything that might lead to a case being opened against you as well.
If you’re told you aren’t a suspect, don’t take that as fact. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are allowed to lie to you about the nature of their investigation. You can’t take anything they say as truth, and you can’t believe them. By having your lawyer intervene, you protect yourself, and you get access to more information about what exactly is being investigated.
Criminal defense attorneys might help in federal cases that include white collar crime, drug crime, and crime that occurred in multiple states. Multi-state crimes fall into federal jurisdiction since they don’t slot neatly into one state jurisdiction. You might also a hire if you are being investigated for perjury or public corruption.
There are three categories of individual during a criminal investigation: witnesses, targets, and subjects.
Targets have the most to worry about. These people tend to be the main suspects in investigations, and they have at least a 50 percent chance of facing criminal charges. If you are the target of a criminal investigation, the prosecution is already trying to prove that you are guilty. You cannot prove your innocence by yourself. Whatever information you give them will be twisted to prove your guilt. Once the prosecutor has gathered enough evidence, they will seek an indictment or arrest.
Witnesses aren’t targeted by an investigation. They might have information about the crime, though. If a person is being investigated as a witness, the prosecution believes they can help prove the target’s guilt. They might not have done anything criminal themselves. Sometimes witnesses are just verifying texts, time stamps, and other data. But if a witness was involved in the incident at all, they could very quickly become the target of a new investigation.
Subjects are not targets or witnesses, but they share qualities of both. The prosecutor might find their actions to be suspicious, or they might have done something unethical. However, the prosecutor doesn’t yet know whether they have committed a crime. Some unethical actions aren’t prohibited by law. Until the prosecutor believes that this person has committed a crime, they will simply be investigating the possibility.
Once the prosecutor does believe a crime has been committed, though, a subject will very quickly turn into a target. Evidence will be compiled against them.
There is no real way to know whether you are a target, witness, or subject in an investigation. Law enforcement officials may purposefully obfuscate the facts to confuse you. In addition, being a cooperative witness does not offer you any protection against being charged, even if prosecutors tell you it does.
If you appear to testify before a grand jury, you will be compelled to tell the truth, or you might be charged with perjury. A lawyer can help you prepare before the case by assessing your closeness to the crime. They’ll help you determine your risk of being charged.
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