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How Long Can The Federal Government Investigate You?

If you or a loved one is under federal investigations, it might look it will take forever. You will have federal agents come talk to you, conduct searches with search warrants, or send a grand jury subpoena to a business organization among other things. When under investigations, there will be a flurry of activities happening around you. The first step to take when facing federal investigations is to hire a lawyer. With the services of a legal representative, you will be in a position to manage all the things thrown in you are way in by federal agents.

 

It is common for people under federal investigations to want to know how long the investigations before will take before being set free or taken to court for criminal charges. The sad part about it is that when you are under federal investigations, you are waiting for the worst thing to happen. In most cases, when the state attorney’s office decides they won’t press any charges against you, they do not inform you about that decision. You may be out of danger, but you will never know about it. Different offices run under different policies and therefore there is no certainty that you will learn when the investigations will end. In the worst case scenario, you will learn that you are no longer under investigations after the government commences formal criminal charges against you. The other way it is through the statute of limitations.

 

The statute of limitations for federal crimes

 

In many cases involving a federal criminal investigation, criminal charges have to be brought to a court of law within five years after the crime was committed. For indictment proceedings to commence, a grand jury must give the necessary permissions. What this means is that within five years, the investigators must return the indictment to the grand jury. However, it is important to note that this timeline applies to some federal crimes.

 

There are other federal crimes that have extended time limits. For instance, for arson it is ten years, art theft is 20 years, bank fraud is ten years, and violation of immigration laws is ten years and so on. For crimes involving sexual abuse of a child or kidnapping the charges can be brought within the lifetime of the child or 10 years depending on which one takes longer.

 

For capital offenses such as murder or terrorism, there is no time limit for which charges can be pressed against you. Also, people need to understand that if the government proves that the defendant has been avoiding prosecution, time limits will not apply. So, if you go into hiding after realizing that the government is looking for you, you’re simply giving away the right to be prosecuted within the given time limit.

 

For cases that involve ongoing criminal activity, the statute of limitations will start to apply after the activity has ended. For instance, if it is a conspiracy, it is most likely that it is an action that will take place for months or years. The government has the right to press charges after it is convinced that the conspiracy has ended.

 

If the government has to depend on evidence from another government, mostly under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, the statutes of limitation grants the government some extra time to get an indictment.

 

Another important fact that people need to understand is that in many cases, federal claims can also be classified under state crimes. So, if the statute of limitations gives you a leeway to avoid prosecution by the federal government, the state prosecutor can initiate your indictment. However, there is little likelihood that a state prosecutor will take up a matter that the federal government has been unable to handle. In case the federal prosecutor feels angry that he failed to press charges against you, he can get the attention of the state prosecutor for your indictment.

 

It is clear that if you are wondering how long it will take for the federal investigations to be over, then you’ll have to be patient. You can also learn whether investigations are over be realizing that the agent investigating you has moved to another job, another office, or has been assigned other duties. Although such changes do not necessarily mean that you are out of the woods, it might give you a sense that you are not in danger.

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Manhattan

85 Broad Street, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10005

Phone

888-977-6335

Queens

35-37 36th St,
Astoria, NY 11106

Phone

888-977-6335

Brooklyn

195 Montague St.
14th Floor,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone

888-977-6335