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Criminal Investigations in Washington, DC

Due to the role an investigation plays in a criminal case, it is imperative that a person knows what to expect if they are under investigation and speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The following is information a person should know about investigations in DC and the necessary steps they should take if they think they may be under investigation. For more information or to ensure that a person’s rights are protected, consult with a DC criminal lawyer today.

Qualities to Look for in an Attorney

A person should make sure that they speak with counsel who has relevant experience in the type of matter potentially being investigated. In other words, if it is an investigation for fraudulent activities in DC, they are going to want to talk to an attorney who practices criminal defense in DC, who has experience with fraud cases, and who has experience with pre-arrest investigations in general and with that specific type of case.

Authorities Role in an Investigation

The police will talk to anyone who they believe has pertinent information related to their investigation. There are many times where they will talk to family and friends. Oftentimes, the United States Attorney’s Office will present these people as witnesses before the grand jury under oath. It is also not uncommon to have a suspect’s family subpoenaed and brought in before the grand jury because the suspect had discussed some facts with their family. The government will want to use the family to obtain the necessary evidence. The government will not limit themselves in who they seek out. They are going to talk to anyone they believe has pertinent information.

In addition to family and friends, law enforcement may also speak with employers, coworkers, and eye witnesses. If some type of violent crime occurred in public, the police will speak with neighbors or other people who were in the street when the crime occurred.  They are going to want to talk to family and friends who the defendant either may have talked to about the case or who may have personal knowledge about certain aspects of the case. The government will talk to anyone and everyone who they believe has pertinent information.

Steps to Take When Under Investigation

The first thing a person should do when they are under investigation is immediately contact an attorney because depending on the nature of the investigation, there are certain things that should or should not be done. In general, if it becomes known that the person is the target of an investigation and aware of what the investigation is specifically about, that person should not create witnesses by talking about the facts with other people before having an opportunity to talk to an attorney who can advise them as to the appropriate steps to take and not to take while they are being investigated.

Dealing with an Ongoing Investigation

A person will want to discuss with their lawyer everything they know about the investigation. This may include information about the event or activity the government is targeting and the type of evidence that may exist. The person will want to discuss with his or her attorney what their options are for defending against the allegations. They will want to discuss that as early as possible because the government has put them in a less than ideal situation. Finally, the person being investigated will have to discuss with their attorney what possible defenses they can immediately build and whether this is a situation where they want to speak with the government because the government is incorrect about the underlying facts of the case.