If federal law enforcement officers are investigating you for an alleged crime, you might not know right away. This can make it difficult to know when or even if you should seek legal help. In some cases, you might even be the subject of a state investigation that turns into a federal case.
As soon as you begin to sense that you may be the subject of a federal investigation, you should retain aggressive legal counsel. Federal criminal charges are more severe than state charges, meaning the penalties upon conviction are much harsher. An Omaha federal criminal investigations lawyer can help you understand the process and prepare a strong defense to your allegations.
How to Know if You are Involved in a Criminal Investigation
There are many federal agencies in the United States, and they all handle criminal investigations differently. Depending on what organization has jurisdiction over your case and what stage in the process the officers are in, you might not know a criminal investigation is taking place.
However, phone calls from federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), are good indicators that you might be the subject of an investigation.
Alternatively, if federal law enforcement officers show up at your house with a search warrant, that is an obvious clue that they are investigating you. If you are unsure whether you are being investigated, a federal criminal lawyer can help you examine your situation.
The Dangers of Speaking to a Federal Prosecutor without a Lawyer Present
Generally, it is not advised to speak with federal prosecutors without a lawyer present. If the agents on your case are requesting to speak with you, your attorney can advise you on what to say. A lawyer familiar with federal criminal investigations can also inform you of the types of statements that can be used against you. Having legal counsel present is a good way to avoid incriminating yourself when contacted by law enforcement or federal prosecutors.
The Role of an Omaha Criminal Attorney During a Federal Investigation
Whether or not federal officers have charged you with a crime, there are many ways an Omaha attorney can support you during an investigation. As mentioned above, a criminal lawyer can help you avoid making statements that the prosecutors can later use against you.
After the indictment, an experienced legal advocate can help you understand the federal criminal process and represent you in court. This involves making appearances in front of the court, answering to your charges at arraignment, and making every effort to keep you out of police custody.
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The Importance of Hiring an Omaha Federal Criminal Investigations Lawyer
Federal agents can pour millions of dollars into their criminal investigations, so you do not want to attempt to handle your case without legal counsel. Even one small mistake or seemingly innocent statement can result in you incriminating yourself. Once this happens, the government will use all of its resources against you.
At Berry Law, we can help you prevent that from happening. Our Omaha federal criminal investigation lawyers can advise you on how to deal with law enforcement and protect your rights before and after indictment.