If you are charged with a federal crime, you will have a chance to talk to investigators. However, it may not necessarily be in your best interest to do so. This is because anything that you say could be used against you during the legal process, which could make it harder to obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Let’s take a closer look at when you may be given an opportunity to speak to investigators and if it makes sense to do so.
You’ll Likely Be Subject to an Interview Before You’re Charged
There is a good chance that investigators will ask you to submit to an informal interview before you are charged with a crime. This interview may take place at your home, at the lake or another relatively private location. It’s important to note that the goal of such an interview is to get you to say something that can be used as the basis for charging you with a crime. Therefore, it’s important to consult with your attorney prior to agreeing to any type of interview.
What Happens After You’re Charged With a Crime?
It’s not uncommon for the government to offer a plea deal to those who have been charged with drug, computer or other types of crimes. As part of the plea deal, you may be required to share information about your role in any scheme that has allegedly violated federal law. You may also be asked to provide information about others who were also engaged in illegal activity.
It’s important to note that any information that you provide while complying with the terms of a plea deal could leave you vulnerable to additional charges. Ideally, your attorney will include immunity from further prosecution in exchange for cooperating with federal authorities.
The Government Is Always Willing to Listen
Even if investigators don’t reach out to schedule an interview, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested in hearing from you. Instead, it means that they don’t think that you have anything new to say about your case. However, if you feel as if you have information that could help you obtain a better outcome in the matter, you should feel free to reach out at your earliest convenience.
It’s important to note that your attorney will likely reach out on your behalf. In fact, there is a good chance that your attorney will submit a written statement or submit copies of documents that might help to prove your innocence. If you do talk to investigators in person, it’s generally in your best interest to have your attorney present. He or she will help to ensure that you don’t say or do anything that turns a potentially positive event into one that results in additional charges.
You’ll Have a Chance to Testify at Trial
If your case makes it to trial, you will be allowed to testify in your own defense. However, it’s worth noting that only 2% of cases actually go before a judge or jury. Therefore, any talking that you do will likely take place outside of a courtroom. Furthermore, your attorney will likely advise you not to take the stand during a trial as there is no guarantee that doing so will make a difference in the outcome of your case.
You Will Never Be Forced to Talk
The government cannot force you to say or do anything against your will during an investigation. Furthermore, you cannot be forced to say or do anything after being charged with a crime. If you are not made aware of this fact, there is a chance that the charges against you could be dropped. At a minimum, any evidence gleaned from statements made before you were read your Miranda rights could be ruled inadmissible. Depending on the strength of the case against you, it may be enough to have charges thrown out by a judge.
You will likely be allowed to talk to the government at any point during the legal process. Ideally, you will consult with an attorney prior to doing so to ensure that you don’t accidentally incriminate yourself. It’s worth noting that you can speak with authorities even if your legal adviser doesn’t think it is a good idea.
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