In recent years, federal investigations have been targeted at industries and corporations that were once off-limits to US law enforcement agencies. These investigations can take a toll on the people involved if they are not handled correctly. In this article, we explore what you should do when you find yourself the subject of a federal investigation.
Federal Investigations and the Impact on Your Reputation
If you are the subject of a federal civil or criminal investigation, it can be stressful to deal with. Not only could your livelihood be on the line, but your reputation is also at risk. Upstanding citizens often find themselves in hot water when they are blindsided by a federal investigation. The impact on your professional and personal relationships can be severe.
During a federal investigation, the actions that you take or fail to take can have an immediate impact on your reputation. You may receive negative media attention, lose access to certain customers and see your business’s bottom line suffer as your customers shift their business to a competitor. Your public reputation is more important than ever during a federal investigation.
What are the Major Federal Investigative Authorities?
12 major federal investigative agencies that represent the US government. These agencies include:
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- Department of Veterans Affairs (Criminal Investigations Division, Office of the Inspector General)
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Inspector General)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Fish and Wildlife Service (Office of Law Enforcement)
- Health and Human Services (Office of Inspector General)
- Homeland Security Investigations
- Internal Revenue Service (Criminal Investigation Division)
- S. Marshals Service
- S. Postal Inspection Service
- S. Secret Service
Each agency is responsible for enforcing a separate set of laws and regulations. While some agencies may overlap in their scope, each investigative agency is designed to investigate specific crimes that affect the United States.
What To Do if You Are Contacted by a Federal Investigator
If you are contacted by someone from one of the federal investigative agencies, it is important that you find out what they want to talk about. Most federal investigators will try not to alarm anyone during an initial contact; they simply want to ask a few questions or gather information. You can provide your lawyer with any documents necessary for responding to the investigation and finding out what the investigation is about. If you are not sure how to proceed, you can ask for help from a criminal defense attorney.
What Not To Do if You Are Contacted by Federal Investigators
There are several things that people should avoid when they are being investigated for federal crimes. Remember that it is important to stay calm at all times since blowing up during an interview with the federal investigator will only make things worse. It is also important for you to avoid speaking with anyone about your case without first consulting your lawyer. Even your spouse should not be contacted unless it is absolutely necessary; anything that you say can be used against you in court.
The Importance of Having Legal Representation Through Federal Investigations
The federal government has plenty of resources at its disposal during an investigation. Federal investigators often have to travel as far as they need to follow up on potential crimes, and if the situation warrants it, they can engage in widespread search and seizure operations. It is beneficial for anyone being investigated by federal authorities to have legal representation from the beginning.
A federal criminal defense attorney can assist you throughout this process, and they will guide you to the best course of action given your situation. Having legal representation does not mean that you are guilty; it simply means that you are taking all of the necessary measures to protect yourself during an investigation.
If you’ve found yourself at the center of a federal investigation, contact us as soon as possible. Our attorneys will be happy to answer any of your questions and will work tirelessly until the investigation is over. Our firm specializes in federal criminal investigations, and we can help you stay home with your family while going through this difficult time.