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Samples of Federal Target Letters from U.S. Attorney’s Offices

The Federal Target Letter Confirms What You Already Knew

Should you find out that you are the subject of a federal investigation, you will customarily be notified at some point by way of a target letter.  The letter will tell you which area of the law the offense pertains to, and it will likely request your cooperation with the investigation. Be advised that by the time you get a target letter, you will probably already know or at least have some suspicion that you are under investigation. Federal agents might have already questioned you or loved ones by that time, or perhaps even presented a search warrant at your door. Depending on the details of the offense you allegedly committed, you could be under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or any of a multitude of other federal agencies. 

No matter what the specifics of your crime, it is important that you move fast to get in touch with a skilled federal defense lawyer who can represent you and stand up for  your rights throughout every phase of your case.

If you have received a target letter or are under investigation, contact an experienced, licensed federal defense attorney as soon as possible to get advice about how to deal with the investigation and respond to the target letter.

Receiving a Federal Target Letter from a U.S. Attorney

When you receive a target letter, it is an indicator that you are under investigation and are in immediate need of a highly skilled defense lawyer. You should consider yourself at risk of imminent arrest.  Rather than scrambling to source adequate representation in reaction to an inconvenient circumstance, proactively connect with a lawyer who can defend you starting right now.

The target letter will be addressed to you from the U.S. attorney in the district where your case is being handled. The letter will probably tell you what agency is investigating you, and also inform you of what the charges are connected to. The letter will also likely offer you an opportunity to resolve the matter before you are indicted and arrested. You must never assume that this means you can efficiently resolve your case by working with the very entity that is trying to convict you. You should definitely consult with an attorney for this.  Make sure to have your lawyer present anytime you are meeting with federal agents or the U.S. attorney.

The target letter may also lay out certain rights that you have, for example:

  • The right to remain silent;
  • The right against self-incrimination;
  • The right to an attorney.

It is very important indeed to exercise these rights to your advantage, and to quickly select an attorney who can guide your next steps. 

A Sample of a Federal Target Letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office

There are a variety of different target letters available on the United States Attorney website.  These include letters for cases involving document subpoenas and grand juries. target letters can also be used to request a meeting, or to request a lawyer call. 

Here below is sample of the possible text of a target letter:

U.S. Attorney’s Office Header

Dear {Subject of Investigation}:

{FBI/DEA/IRS/Other Agency} is investigating you in connection with {offense}.

We are preparing to present evidence to a grand jury and seek indictment and an arrest. If you would like to resolve this matter before a possible warrant is issued, please contact before {date}. Please have an attorney represent you at this meeting.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for a court-appointed lawyer. Please complete the attached form and present it to the Office of the Federal Public Defender.


U.S. Attorney

Speed and Skill

Two things are critical in the handling of a federal investigation: speed and skill. You must act fast to secure representation and to leap into action before the U.S. attorney has time to build a convincing case against you. You should get yourself a lawyer who has what it takes to win, regardless of whether he or she is up against the unlimited resources of the federal government.

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