Federal Criminal Investigations: What You Should Do When the FBI Shows Up at Your Door

This happened recently to someone in Atlanta, but it also takes place everywhere else in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina and all over the country.  The FBI or some other federal criminal investigation unit shows up at someone’s front door, wanting to ask questions and possibly to get the person’s cooperation.  What did that person do?  He was polite, he got the agent’s contact information, he provided some general information demonstrating a willingness to cooperate without admitting to anything criminal, and then, most importantly, he called me.

Nobody really wants to have a criminal defense lawyer, but sometimes, people need us. This incident was similar to what my family members in the health care field do when medical emergencies happens.  They jump into action, just as I did the other night

This man called me at 8:30 pm on a weeknight.  I already had a long day, was doing some chores before a little relaxation time, and then his call came.  I spent the next several hours on the phone with the client, with the FBI Agent, emailed back and forth with the prosecutor, did Internet research about the specific situation, and made arrangements to meet the client at my office the next morning.  The client and I then spoke in the morning at my office for several hours, and like medical personnel when someone comes into the emergency room, I then needed to do a quick evaluation and set out a strategy even though I only had several hours’ worth of information.  I told the client my evaluation, and we then embarked on the strategy I recommended.

People sometimes think it looks bad when they ask to consult with a criminal defense lawyer.  “Doesn’t that make me look guilty?”, they sometimes ask me.  The answer is “NO”.   A good criminal defense lawyer can guide the client to the proper avenue, can prevent mistakes, and, sometimes, can even prevent criminal charges from being filed.

I do not yet know what will happen with the man who called me recently late at night.  I do know that he made one correct decision: instead of talking at length with the FBI, he called me and then together the next day we spoke with the FBI and the federal prosecutor.  Anyone in a similar predicament should immediately look for and then speak with a criminal defense attorney who is accustomed to handling such matters.

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