It can be difficult to know if you are under a federal investigation. However, if you are aware, there are several clues that you are under investigation by the Federal Government. One of them is the receipt of a target letter.
A target letter is a formal notification sent by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to inform an individual that they are a target of a federal criminal investigation.
The letter typically provides information about the nature of the investigation. This might include the specific crime or crimes that Government suspects you of committing.
A target letter is typically a formal notification that you are the subject of an investigation. It is intended to provide you with notice of the investigation and give you an opportunity to respond.
Federal investigations often involve sending target letters. This is because they believe you may have committed a crime. Therefore, receiving a target letter can be a serious matter. Serious because it indicates that the DOJ believes they have gathered substantial evidence linking you to a federal crime.
Federal target letters may request that you meet with an assistant US Attorney, or federal prosecutor, to discuss the investigation. The target letter may also request that you provide additional information or evidence or testify before a grand jury. It can be used in lieu of sending federal agents to interview the target (you).
What Federal Agencies Use Target Letters?
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – The FBI is the primary investigative agency of the federal government. The FBI investigates a wide range of federal crimes, including white-collar crimes, terrorism, and public corruption.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – The IRS investigates tax-related crimes, such as tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering.
Department of Justice (DOJ) – The DOJ investigates a variety of federal crimes and is responsible for enforcing federal law.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – The SEC investigates securities fraud, insider trading, and other violations of federal securities laws.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – The DEA investigates drug-related crimes, including drug trafficking, manufacturing, and distribution.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) – The ATF investigates crimes related to firearms, explosives, and alcohol and tobacco trafficking.
Will I be Indited?
Receiving a target letter from a federal agency does not necessarily mean that you will be indicted. The decision to indict is ultimately made by a federal grand jury, which reviews the evidence and decides whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that you committed it.
If the grand jury decides to indict, the individual will be formally charged with a crime and the case will proceed to trial. However, if the grand jury does not find sufficient evidence to support an indictment, the investigation may be closed without any charges being filed.
Steps to Take if You Receive a Target Letter
- Consult with an experienced attorney: You should immediately consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in federal criminal defense. Your attorney will be able to advise you on your legal rights and help you navigate the complex legal process.
- Gather all relevant documents: Gather all documents related to the investigation, including any correspondence, emails, financial records, or other relevant materials.
- Review the target letter: Carefully review the target letter to understand the scope and nature of the investigation. The letter will provide important information. This may include the name of the investigating agency, the specific allegations against you, and your rights.
- Respond to the target letter: It’s important to respond to the target letter in a timely manner. Your attorney can help you prepare a response that is appropriate for the situation.
- Cooperate with the investigation: If you decide to cooperate with the investigation, it’s important to do so fully and honestly. Your attorney can advise you on the best course of action.
- Maintain confidentiality: It’s important to maintain confidentiality about the investigation and not discuss it with anyone except your attorney. This will help protect your rights and prevent any unintended consequences.
- Stay informed: Stay informed about the progress of the investigation and any legal developments. Your attorney will keep you updated and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions
How the Barone Defense Firm Can Help
It’s important to note that every case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific circumstances of the investigation. If you receive a target letter, it’s important to consult with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Your attorney may also be able to negotiate with federal prosecutors to limit the scope of the investigation. This may result in a more favorable plea agreement.
In some cases, individuals who receive target letters may be able to avoid criminal charges or negotiate a favorable plea agreement. However, this will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the evidence that the DOJ has gathered.
Contact the Barone Defense Firm for your free no obligation case review.