Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:20 pm
My heart skipped a beat when I opened the door and saw the badge. Two stern-faced agents flashed their credentials – they were from the Office of the Inspector General. They had some questions for me about my business dealings and wanted to schedule a “friendly chat.” I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, but seeing those federal badges made my palms sweat.
If government agents ever show up at your home or business asking to speak with you, it’s important to stay calm and know your rights. Don’t panic – taking a deep breath and gathering your wits is key. Here’s what you need to know if the OIG darkens your doorstep wanting to talk.
The first thing to do is verify they are who they say they are. Ask to see their credentials and look for a badge, photo ID, and agency affiliation. I examined their badges closely, looking for any signs of tampering or fakery. You can also call the agency’s field office to confirm the agents’ identities. Imposters have been known to pose as agents, so checking out their credentials is crucial.
While OIG agents may pressure you to let them inside, you are not obligated to grant them entry into your home or business unless they have a warrant. A search warrant gives agents the legal authority to enter the premises, but the lack of one means you can talk with them outside or ask them to return later. Unless you’re arrested, you maintain control over your property.
I chose to speak with the agents at my doorstep. Letting them inside could have led to them trying to search areas or dig up material without my consent. If you’re uncomfortable, suggest meeting them at a coffee shop or public place instead.
Here’s where many people get tripped up. Any statements you make to federal agents can potentially get you into trouble, even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong. The 5th Amendment gives you the right to remain silent – you are not required to answer the agents’ questions or provide any information. Be polite but firm that you will not be answering any questions without legal counsel present.
I told the agents I had nothing to hide but would not make any statements without my attorney present. This prevented me from accidentally saying something misleading or that could be twisted against me. Silence protects your rights.
Lying or intentionally misleading any federal agent is a felony offense. Even if you are innocent, providing false information to the OIG during an investigation can land you prison time for obstruction of justice. Stick to saying you won’t answer questions and avoid elaborating or giving incorrect info.
I was tempted to embellish some details to downplay my involvement in a business deal the agents were asking about. But fabricating stories or omitting facts could have gotten me arrested for lying to federal officers. Take the 5th and zip your lips.
Any good attorney will advise you to not speak with federal agents without counsel present. Once you state you won’t answer questions, clearly tell the agents you want your lawyer present for any discussions. Refuse to keep chatting “off the record.”
I told the agents I wouldn’t say another word until my lawyer arrived. I knew my attorney would ensure my rights were protected and prevent me from accidentally self-incriminating. You have the right to legal representation – so invoke it.
Hopefully it won’t come to this, but if the agents say you are being detained or arrested, do not physically resist. Remain calm and let them know you do not consent to any search or seizure. Ask again for counsel. Fight the charges in court later with your lawyer’s help.
I was not arrested, but had I been, I would have complied with orders to avoid charges of resisting arrest or assaulting an officer. Those never turn out well for the defendant. Keep your cool and know false charges can be fought later on.
If OIG agents want to talk with you, immediately call an experienced white collar defense lawyer, like our firm. We can protect your rights, represent you during questioning, and help avoid charges. Do not wait to engage counsel.
My attorney was able to sit in on my “friendly chat” and prevent me from inadvertently incriminating myself. His expertise kept me out of legal jeopardy. With an OIG investigation, you need top-notch criminal defense advice.
The shock of federal agents at your door can be unnerving. But knowing your rights and following this guidance can help you steer clear of criminal charges. Keep calm, stay silent, and call an attorney. That’s your best play if the OIG comes knocking. With the right legal advice, you can get through the encounter unscathed.
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