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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.

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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 Should You Do if Approached By Federal Agents or Investigators?

By Spodek Law Group | October 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 11:36 am


What Should You Do if Approached By Federal Agents or Investigators?

Being approached by federal agents or investigators can be an intimidating and unnerving experience. Many people aren’t sure what rights they have or how they should respond in such a situation. Here’s some advice on what to do if you find yourself being questioned by the feds.

Stay Calm

First off, try to stay calm. I know that’s easier said than done when FBI agents flash their badges at you. But getting upset or angry will only make things worse. Take some deep breaths and keep your composure. Don’t get into an argument with the agents. Be respectful and professional.

Don’t Talk Without a Lawyer

You have the right to remain silent and you should exercise that right. Anything you say to federal agents can be used against you, so its best not to say anything at all until you have a lawyer present. Be polite but firm in declining to answer questions without an attorney present. Say something like “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to answer any questions without my lawyer here.”

The Supreme Court has ruled that we have to unambiguously invoke our right to remain silent. That means you have to say out loud to the officers that you are invoking your right to remain silent. It’s not enough to just start remaining silent without telling them you are invoking your right not to speak. Tell them politely but firmly “I am going to invoke my right to remain silent.” Then stop answering questions.

Don’t Lie or Make False Statements

Lying to federal agents is a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 1001. So even if you are super nervous and want to downplay things or deny any wrongdoing, don’t do it. Making false statements can get you charged with a separate federal offense.

The agents may ask to search you, your car, or your home. You have the right to refuse consent for any of these searches. You don’t have to give a reason, just politely decline to give consent. Say something like “I do not consent to any searches.” If they have a warrant, they don’t need your consent anyway.

Don’t Physically Resist Arrest or Obstruct the Investigation

If the agents decide to arrest you, do not physically resist. That will only result in additional charges against you. Also do not attempt to destroy evidence or obstruct the investigation in any way. That could lead to an obstruction of justice charge.

Get a Lawyer

If you are being questioned or arrested by federal agents, your first phone call should be to a criminal defense lawyer. Do not call your spouse, parent, friend, etc – call your attorney. A good lawyer can help protect your rights, negotiate with investigators, and work to minimize the impact on your life. The earlier you get legal help the better.

Some good resources for finding a qualified criminal defense lawyer include:

Look for a lawyer with experience handling federal cases like yours. Be sure to discuss fee structures and retain their services as soon as possible.

Don’t Talk About the Investigation with Others

You should avoid discussing the investigation with anyone other than your lawyer. Any information you reveal, even to close friends or family, could potentially get back to the investigators. So keep quiet about the details and tell your lawyer first before you talk to anyone else.

Get Copies of Any Documents

If the federal agents serve you with any warrants, subpoenas, or other documents – ask for copies before they leave. You have a right to copies of any paperwork relating to the investigation. Provide those immediately to your attorney.

Write Down What Happened

As soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the encounter with the federal agents. Record the date, time, location, names/agencies of the agents, and detailed notes about what questions they asked and what you said in response. Provide this account to your lawyer – it could help your defense down the road.

Consult Your Attorney Before Taking Any Action

Your lawyer is there to protect your interests and walk you through the investigation process. Follow their advice about how to respond to investigators, whether to testify or make statements, document requests, etc. Don’t take any major actions without consulting your attorney first.

Understand the Power Imbalance

Remember that federal agents and prosecutors wield immense power. They can issue subpoenas, get search warrants, threaten charges, and make your life very unpleasant. You are at an inherent disadvantage. Having an experienced lawyer helps balance the scales and ensures your rights are protected.

Don’t Try to Outsmart the Investigators

You may think you can outwit the feds if you’re clever enough. But their job is to build cases. They usually have far more resources and experience than you do. Trying to play games is not likely to turn out well. Be direct, honest, and transparent – with your lawyer’s help.

The Investigation Process Takes Time

Federal investigations are lengthy, detailed, and methodical. Expect it to take many months or even years before your case is resolved. Be patient and let your lawyer handle things – don’t try to speed up the process on your own.

You Still Have Rights

Even if you are the target of a federal case, you still have constitutional and legal rights. You have the right to remain silent, to speak with an attorney, and to fair treatment. Don’t let intimidating agents cause you to give up those rights.

Dealing with a federal investigation is scary. But by staying calm, invoking your rights, hiring a good lawyer, and not talking to anyone but your attorney, you can get through it and end up with the best possible outcome under the circumstances.


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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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