DC Federal Pre-Arrest Investigations

It is common for the government to conduct an investigation before indicting someone in a federal case because these cases tend to be complex. They span multiple jurisdictions, even international jurisdictions, and some of these investigations continue for years. If the alleged conduct in question was occurring for years, the investigations may also take years to conclude. Charging instruments may be issued after the conclusion of the investigation.

The federal government has a multitude of investigating agents. Some of them have criminal jurisdiction and some have civil jurisdiction. Almost every federal agency investigates an alleged criminal offense. Call an experienced DC federal criminal defense lawyer today for representation in your case.

FBI Pre-Arrest Investigations

The FBI is one of the largest investigatory agencies in the federal government. They employ some of the most aggressive tactics investigating federal criminal activity. They can subpoena records from third parties, such as internet service providers, telecommunication companies, and banks.

There is a wide range of tools that the FBI uses to engage in its investigations. They get third-party records to examine the activities and actions of people under investigation. The FBI conducts interviews, uses wiretaps, and conducts physical surveillance where agents stake out places frequented by the people they are investigating.

IRS Pre-Arrest Investigations

The IRS has jurisdiction over the federal tax laws and investigates civil and criminal violations of those laws. One of the unique aspects of their investigative tools is their use of tax records. A person’s tax filings or lack thereof can help form the basis of the offenses charged. They can also conduct interviews, record phone calls, conduct surveillance and engage in other activities.

Duration of Pre-Arrest Investigations in DC

The federal government can investigate a crime for as long as necessary. Aside from the statute of limitations, there is no limit on the length of an investigation; it depends on the complexity and the circumstances of the particular crime under investigation. It can take months or even years to complete an investigation depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

In terms of an individual defending his or her rights and freedom in court, if the case is in the investigatory stages, they are likely not in court yet and have not yet been charged.

A person does not have to speak to federal investigators. It is not recommended that they speak to federal investigators unless they consulted with a DC federal criminal attorney and their attorney is present. This is one of the ways one protects their rights in the investigatory stage of a federal prosecution. It is important to control what the person says to the government. The attorney can negotiate with the investigators to determine the person’s liability in a case.

Contact a DC Federal Criminal Lawyer

If a person knows they are under investigation; they should speak to a federal criminal lawyer in DC right away. They should also refrain from speaking to the government and only speak to the government once counsel is retained and counsel has determined that it might benefit the person to cooperate or speak to the government.

A person should authorize their attorney to conduct a defense investigation at the earliest possible junction. The attorney can help a person understand the consequences of the situation and provide information about the pros and cons of speaking to the government or meeting with law enforcement agents.

Having Experience on Your Side

When someone is looking for a DC federal criminal attorney, they should look for one who handles federal criminal cases or understands the complexities of the federal statutes, particularly the statutes that the person is charged under, as well as an understanding of the sentencing guidelines.

These are important considerations because the attorney can help shape the course and the scope of the federal investigation. The attorney can request the government to pursue lesser charges against the person, which could result in the government possibly not pursuing and not charging the individual.