If you think you can talk your way out of a criminal investigation, in most cases you will be wrong. The one person with whom you can talk about an investigation without fear of your words being used against you is a criminal defense lawyer. Attorney-client privilege protects just about anything you tell an attorney from being disclosed and used against you.

If you still think you can talk your way out of a criminal charge or criminal investigation, talk to a lawyer first. If you want to tell the police your side of the story, at least do so with an attorney by your side who can protect your rights.

Expert Tip : Generally, the rule against hearsay means that when someone makes a statement prior to trial, that statement is not admissible at trial — the prior statement is hearsay if it is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. However, Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2) provides that a statement is not hearsay if it is made by the defendant and offered into evidence by the Government. Thus, admissions by a defendant are admissible as evidence against them. United States v. Dukagjini, 326 F.3d. 45 (2 nd Cir. 2002) (cooperating witness’ testimony that the defendant had told him about his possession of a firearm was admissible at trial as non-hearsay admission). For this reason, it is critical that you make no statements (including social media posts, texts, and emails) to anyone regarding your case prior to hiring an attorney. Too often, defendants make the Government’s case for it by talking about the facts of their case with friends and acquaintances or by giving statements to police.

Federal Criminal Investigations

If you have been questioned by federal agents regarding an alleged crime, it’s likely that you are or may soon become the target of the investigation or a suspect in the commission of the criminal act. You may have received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicating that you are under investigation by a federal grand jury.

Investigations can last a few days or as long as several years and are common in cases of alleged:

  • White collar crimes, including tax fraud, embezzlement, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud
  • Sex crimes, including Internet sex crimes and distribution or possession of child pornography
  • Drug crimes, including drug trafficking

A statute of limitations (time limits) may apply to the crime for which you are being investigated. This limitations period sets a deadline for the prosecutor to charge you with a crime or be forever barred from pursuing you for the criminal act.

When enough evidence is collected to tie you to a crime, it’s likely that the prosecutor will move forward to press charges against you via a grand jury indictment or information. At that point, an arrest warrant will be issued and, instead of coming to ask questions or collect documents, the police will arrive to take you into custody.

What Should You Do If You Are Being Investigated?

As soon as you know you are under investigation for a federal crime, you should contact an attorney. Not only are your discussions with your attorney confidential, he or she may be able to limit the scope of the investigation being conducted, to secure your participation in exchange for a lenient sentence or prevent the filing of criminal charges against you at all.

If you’re under investigation or have recently been sent a target letter, the time to act is now. Call at 919-838-6643 or send an email to request a consultation.

State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.

In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.

State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.

Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to an alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.

State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed.

After conducting an investigation and communicating with prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.

State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death.

Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.

State v. J.G.:

Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.