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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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What To Do When You Get a Target Letter

By Spodek Law Group | July 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm


What To Do When You Get a Target Letter

Getting a target letter can be scary. It means the government is investigating you for a crime. Don’t panic though. Here’s what you need to know and do if you get one.

What is a Target Letter?

A target letter is a letter from the government saying they are investigating you for a crime. It doesn’t mean you’re guilty, just a suspect. The letter will say what crime they think you did. It will ask you to cooperate with the investigation.

Target letters come from the Department of Justice, IRS, SEC, or other agency. They want information from you about the alleged crime. The letter will say to contact the agent in charge. They want you to agree to be interviewed or testify.

Don’t Panic – It’s Not an Indictment

The target letter sounds scary. But it doesn’t mean you’ve been charged with a crime. You’re still just a suspect under investigation at this point. So don’t panic and do something rash.

An indictment is when you’re actually charged with a crime. That’s much more serious than a target letter. With an indictment, you must appear in court and enter a plea. But a target letter just means you’re a suspect they want information from.

Get a Lawyer Immediately

The first thing to do upon getting a target letter is get a lawyer. Don’t try talking to investigators alone. That’s very risky and can hurt your case.

Hire an experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer. Preferably one who specializes in the crime you’re accused of. Interview several lawyers to find the best one for your case.

A good lawyer will protect your rights. They’ll deal with investigators for you. They can negotiate with prosecutors to help avoid charges. Never talk to investigators without your lawyer present.

Don’t Destroy Evidence

It’s natural to want to destroy any evidence against you. Like shredding documents related to the case. Don’t! Destroying evidence can lead to obstruction of justice charges. That is a separate crime that can land you in prison.

Let your lawyer handle the evidence. Give them everything related to the investigation. Then let them determine what investigators should see. Destroying evidence makes you look guilty, even if you’re not.

Don’t Talk About the Case

Don’t discuss the target letter or investigation with anyone except your lawyer. Not even family. Something you say could get back to investigators and hurt you.

The letter may say not to disclose it. That’s so investigators can surprise other suspects. But regardless, keep quiet about it. Prosecutors can use anything you say against you.

Get Your Records in Order

Gather all documents related to the investigation. Tax returns, bank statements, business records, etc. Anything that could help your case. Give them to your lawyer to review.

Thorough records will help your lawyer defend you. They can show your innocence or contradict the charges. But make sure your lawyer screens them first before anything is handed over.

Consider Your Options

Your lawyer will discuss your options. Whether to cooperate with investigators or assert your rights. Considerations include:

  • Cooperating could lead to lesser charges or immunity.
  • Not cooperating means putting the government to their proof.
  • What you say can be used against you or others.
  • Asking for a plea deal later if you don’t cooperate now.

It’s a complex decision with risks either way. Your lawyer will give their best advice for your situation.

Don’t Try to Flee

Never flee the country or go into hiding. That practically screams “guilty” to investigators. Even if you’re innocent, fleeing will destroy your credibility.

Stay put and let your lawyer handle it. Running away will also lead to criminal charges. It’s better to stand your ground and clear your name.

Be Careful What You Say to Investigators

If you agree to be interviewed, be very careful what you say. Even if you’re innocent, a statement can be used against you.

Don’t lie to federal agents – that’s a crime! But don’t speculate or volunteer information either. Stick to simple answers. If you don’t remember something, say so. Let your lawyer object to inappropriate questions.

Your lawyer will prepare you for the interview and debrief you after. Follow their advice to avoid accidentally harming your case.

Take the Letter Seriously

Don’t brush off a target letter! Getting one means you could be facing serious criminal charges. Now is the time to protect yourself.

Hire a lawyer right away. Gather evidence and keep quiet about the case. Consider your options carefully before deciding whether to cooperate. But don’t flee or destroy evidence.

With an experienced lawyer guiding you, the target letter doesn’t have to be a catastrophe. It’s merely an opportunity to present your side of the story. Handle it calmly but seriously.


DOJ on Target Letters

Lawyers.com Target Letter Advice

Nolo Target Letter Guide


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