Even after an arrest has taken place, the government might offer or indicate that they’re interested in speaking with the individual. In this situation, the defendant should speak with their DC federal defense attorney and come to a decision as whether or not they want to speak with the government about the case. Sometimes speaking to the government can be beneficial in these controlled settings. However, sometimes it can hurt the person’s case. That’s the decision that the individual and their attorney need to make before proceeding. No one should under any circumstances speak with the government without an attorney present.
Law enforcement investigations can also pursue new information. The investigation doesn’t stop after a person is arrested, even though in a federal case, much of the investigation can occur before any arrests are made. The government is always learning new facts about the case and if they find more leads to pursue, they are within their rights to do so. They might go after new information or new evidence as the case proceeds, even after arrest.
What the authorities are looking for depends on the case and the criminal statute that the person is being charged under. If this is a tax case, the authorities look at a person’s tax records and probably their business records. They may also examine a person’s spending habits and their bank records to determine whether an offense occurred.
If the case involves drugs, they could examine bank records for any suspicious deposits of money. They could be searching the physical premises of a person’s home to find stashes of drugs, cash, or weapons.
The government will attempt to talk to anyone they think has information. This includes friends, relatives, co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, and victims. There is almost a limitless list of people who they can target. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.
There is a good chance the authorities will seize a person’s computers and phones for the purpose of evaluating and copying the information on them. The person’s attorney can work with the government to get some of those items returned as quickly as possible. But that will only happen after the government makes copies of the hard drives and other files on the computers that might be relevant to the investigation.
If family members are harassed, the person’s attorney can help those family members find their own counsel to ensure that agents cease the harassment. A person’s family members also have a right to an attorney being present before they speak to the government.
In terms of property, there are particular assets, properties, or vehicles that a person’s family members, spouse or close friends depend on. This can include a residence and money to pay for basic necessities.
In those circumstances, the person’s attorney can negotiate with the government and present that information to the government. The attorney may be able to gain the release of some of the assets or properties to ensure family members can meet their basic needs such as having a roof over their heads, or access to a car to get to and from work. This is something that their attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.
The role of the criminal defense attorney is a significant one. They can assert the individual’s constitutional right to unreasonable searches and seizures. If the government doesn’t have probable cause to make the arrest or to seize certain information or property, their attorney can help assert those rights to see if that evidence can be suppressed.
The person’s attorney can help negotiate a favorable plea agreement if that’s the course of action that is most appropriate. Or they can represent the person at trial and put up a defense to assert the person’s innocence. The defense attorney is a significant and necessary component of the criminal justice system.
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