Facing a criminal investigation?

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What to Do Under Federal Investigation

If you’re ever in a situation where you’re being investigated by the federal government, it’s quite common to have questions about what to expect during the trial process and how you’re going to handle the outcome of the investigation. One of the first things to consider doing is hiring an attorney who can represent you through the investigation and who can offer advice about how to handle even the smallest details.

Knowing You’re Being Investigated
If an officer arrives at your home and places you under arrest, then you know that you’re likely going to be charged with a crime. Sometimes, it’s not as easy to know that you’re under investigation by the federal government. The first sign that something is wrong is when you do hear a knock on your door and someone asking you to step outside or immediately placing you under arrest while reading you your rights. The investigators will present proper identification so that you know who they are before you are taken into custody.

A search warrant is often issued if you’re under federal investigation. The warrant is usually delivered by an officer of the court and has the information about your charges and when you need to go to court. If you haven’t been formally charged, then you’ll usually receive a subpoena asking that you go to court at a designated time. While in front of the judge and the prosecutor, you’ll be asked questions about your possible involvement with a crime that has been committed. You could also meet with an investigator who gathers the same information. If there is enough evidence or suspicion that you have committed a crime, then you’ll usually be charged and taken into custody.

If you work in a government office, then you’ll usually find out you’re being investigated by your employer or by the Inspector General. You might not be taken into custody right away, and you might not be charged with a crime if there is enough evidence that points to someone else or if the investigators want you to offer information about someone else who works in the business who is under investigation. If you’re afraid of talking to investigators about the activities that someone has been taking part in, then you can ask for protection so that you’re not harmed and so that you’re not fired from your job.

Next Steps
After learning that you’re under federal investigation, you need to contact an attorney who has experience with these issues. Even if you haven’t been charged with anything, you still need to seek legal assistance so that there is someone on your side in the event that you are charged in the future. Offer as much information to your attorney as possible so that you can get started on your case in the event that you do go to trial. You should also consider offering details about other people who might be involved in the crime committed or the reason for the investigation so that this information can be presented to the prosecution.

Know Your Rights
Whether you’ve been charged or not, you still have rights that the law has to uphold. You can refuse to talk to an investigator and can refuse to let someone search your property or your person unless the investigator has a warrant. If the investigator doesn’t have a warrant when arriving at your home or business, then there is only limited information that can be gathered, such as your address. Avoid answering questions until you have your attorney with you as your attorney can inform you as to which questions you should or shouldn’t answer. Keep in mind that even though you don’t have to answer questions, you shouldn’t lie to the investigator as this could come back to hurt your case if you do go to court. Always be truthful with your attorney as well as this person is someone who represents your interests.

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