Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Many people enter the criminal justice arena without having been charged with any crime at all. One way this can happen is the result of Grand Jury investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys investigate potential federal crimes, and then often attempt to have an Indictment returned against various individuals by presenting evidence to the Grand Jury.
For those who do not know, a Grand Jury serves as an investigative body acting either on behalf of a judge or on behalf of a prosecuting attorney. The jury is composed of jurors, ranging in numbers, usually between 16 and 23 people. Grand jury proceedings are always private, and the suspect is almost never present, with the prosecutors central goal being to establish probable cause that the suspect had reason to commit the criminal offense that is in question. A grand jury is usually free to pursue investigations completely free of outside supervision or influence.
During this investigation, the Assistants will frequently reach out to individuals by way of letters, advising them that they are the subjects of the investigation. We refer to these letters as “Target Letters” and the individuals who receive these letters are referred to as “Grand Jury Targets.” The Grand Jury Target might receive the Target Letter by mail or in the hands of a federal agent who personally delivers the letter to the Target.
Many of our clients are initially brought into the federal criminal arena by way of Target Letters. Sometimes, federal agents will approach individuals to speak to them without a Target letter. There are many federal agents that may do this, including the FBI, IRS, AFT and DEA.
No matter what the circumstances, when you are approached by a federal agent or if you receive a Target Letter (or any letter from law enforcement or a prosecutor), you should immediately contact a federal criminal defense attorney, and not make any statements to the agent. Anything that you state to a federal agent or to the Assistant United States Attorney can be used against you; once a statement is uttered, it cannot be taken back.
Even if you are certain that you did nothing wrong, it is best not to make statements without appropriate representation. If you or a loved one are approached by a federal agent or receive a target letter, call a federal criminal defense lawyer, who will fight for your rights and protect your freedom.