As a law-abiding citizen, you may believe that you cannot be arrested if you have done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, many people find themselves at the center of a federal investigation for crimes they didn’t commit or were unaware they were committing that can ruin their careers, send them to prison, or both.
What Should I Do If I am Being Investigated for a White Collar Crime in Louisiana?
Non-violent high-level crime (also called white collar crime) can be any criminal activity that does not involve coercion and is typically engaged in for profit. In some cases, people may break the law without knowing they have done so, simply because they are not aware of the complexity of federal laws and regulations. Others may be set up to take the fall for illegal activities within a company, allowing the innocent employee to go to jail and the corruption to continue.
There are many ways a federal agency can notify a person that he is under investigation, including:
- Notice of investigation. You may receive a notice (also called a “target letter”) from the United States Attorney’s Office informing you that you are the target of a federal investigation.
- Visit from an agent. Federal law enforcement agents, such as members of the Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, United States Treasury, or United States Postal Service, may simply come to your home. If you aren’t home at the time of the visit, the agent may leave a card with a phone number asking you to call as soon as possible.
- Subpoenas. You may receive a letter asking you to submit documents or provide sworn testimony to aid in the investigation.
- Search warrants. If federal agents have reason to suspect that you have evidence of your crime in your house, they may come to your home with a search warrant. This will give them the right to look for evidence, but there are specific rules about where and what type of evidence they may collect.
Can I Talk to My Friends or Coworkers About the Investigation?
People may unofficially discover that they are the target of an investigation from bosses, coworkers, or friends. However, anything you say to these people can be subpoenaed by federal agents and used as evidence against you in court. If you or your business is at the center of an investigation, it is vital to engage an attorney as soon as possible. Your counsel can perform an internal investigation within your company in order to cooperate with federal agents and gather evidence to prove your innocence. Call Mordock Law Group today at (888) 254-0064 to find out how we can help you get through a period of investigation.