FBI, DOJ, & Grand Jury Investigations Defense

Proactive Representation During FBI and Department of Justice Investigations

Criminal Investigations Within the Federal Arena

Above all else, if you are on the receiving end of a federal grand jury subpoena, or if the FBI knocks on your door, you must contact a criminal defense attorney or federal lawyer immediately. Whether you are a witness, subject, or target, if you do not take the correct measures at this juncture, you run the risk of incriminating yourself and doing irreversible damage. You may even open yourself up to criminal charges such as perjury or obstruction of justice if you attempt to deal with federal investigators on your own.

Dealing Properly with Federal Subpoenas

Federal agents typically come to your door or workplace unannounced and serve you with a grand jury subpoena for documents and/or testimony, and then leave without providing many more details. This in and of itself should alert you to call a criminal defense attorney who has routinely dealt with federal investigations and prosecutions.

A grand jury subpoena is issued from the federal or state prosecuting agency under the guise of a grand jury investigation into suspected criminal activity. The subpoena may seek years of documents and testimony regarding those documents and other relevant matters to the investigation. An individual served with a grand jury subpoena, regardless of his or her role, should consult with an experienced defense counsel to determine the specific representation needed.

Upon being hired, a seasoned defense attorney will first contact the requesting agency to determine the status of the matter and whether the client is simply a witness or may have criminal exposure. If the client has potential exposure, then additional time will be required to understand the facts and to carefully review the documents before forwarding copies pursuant to the subpoena. There may be privileged items that counsel may attempt to withhold under certain circumstances. If testimony is required, the person may invoke his right not to testify under the Fifth Amendment or seek immunity to testify.

Often times, the scope of the subpoena is broad, and the production of the requested documents can be burdensome, time-consuming, and expensive to locate, collect and copy. Defense counsel will discuss that issue with the prosecutor and often negotiate a limiting of the frame and scope of the request. Counsel may also discuss an extension of time to gather, review and organize the documents to make sure that they are responsive.

While this process may sound harmless, albeit tedious, it can lead to numerous issues that are best handled by an attorney well-versed in this area. Purposely withholding or even destroying relevant documents can lead to serious criminal charges. The act of production alone can at times be used against the person.

Your Criminal Defense Begins Now

If you are being investigated by federal agents and prosecutors, and certainly in the event you received a grand jury subpoena, do not hesitate to reach out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney. The way in which this process is handled is crucial to your protection, and if defended correctly, can shield you from future criminal exposure. Missteps at an early stage will undoubtedly lead to a criminal prosecution based in part on incriminating information obtained during these investigations; as such, potential federal penalties may be unavoidable if you are not represented by an effective criminal defense attorney.

It is imperative, therefore, that you hire a criminal defense attorney to assure that the investigation is narrowed, and the responses made are appropriate and exculpatory. It is also crucial that your defense attorney, without hesitation, begins a counter-investigation by identifying witnesses, locating corroborative evidence, and issuing subpoenas. Do not be naive or misguided during this process. Just because there may not be a threat of an imminent arrest, an investigation by federal agents can have devastating long-term effects.

The sooner you put your matter in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more opportunity you will have to work toward a favorable outcome.

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