What Should I do if I’m under federal criminal investigation?

• December 15, 2022
Madison, WI federal defense attorney

A federal defense lawyer, who knows the federal system, can help you out of a terrifying situation. There is a fine line between fearing something and having a healthy respect for something. While fear can lead us to make irrational decisions in the spur of the moment, a healthy respect can lead us to make prudent decisions about the best way to approach a person, thing or situation. When you are notified that you are under federal investigation, or when a search warrant has been executed by federal agents, the decisions you make in the immediate aftermath of those events can have a huge impact on the final result.

What does this mean for you? First, it means you should have a healthy respect for what federal agencies and prosecutors are capable of when investigating crimes and pursuing criminal charges. Federal prosecutors have immense resources at their disposal and those resources increase their ability to obtain convictions. You should also have a healthy respect for the severity of criminal penalties at the federal level, often resulting from mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

So what should you do? There are two critical steps for you to take. First, you must invoke your constitutional right to remain silent. You CANNOT talk your way out of that situation. The second smartest decision you can make when accused of or charged with a federal offense is to seek the advice of an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer right away. Federal court is very different from state court. It is crucial to be represented by an attorney who knows federal law, federal prosecutors, and knows how to navigate federal court. That lawyer will be able to advise you as to your best path forward.

In summary, have a healthy respect for their capabilities and act accordingly by first, refusing to answer any questions without the advice of a lawyer, and second, hiring a proven federal defense lawyer. Take a look at our experience, and give us a call. Rick Coad is one of the most experienced and respected federal defense attorneys in Wisconsin. Contact him today.