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Investigative Tools & Techniques Used By Federal Agents

Investigative Tools And Techniques Federal Law Enforcement Agents Have At Their Disposal

Federal Law Enforcement has access to anything in the private sector. They have computer experts that can review and investigate computers, laptops, and tablets. They have cellphone experts; they are elbows deep into the latest developments in technology. They look at an IP address for a computer, cell phone technology and find where a phone is pinging, and GPS technology in cars.

A recent case I had was broken open through the use of a dash-cam video from a vehicle that the complaining witness, the alleged victim, was driving. Federal Law Enforcement will rely on detailed search warrants and grand jury subpoenas to compel the production of evidence or even the testimony of witnesses.

The Feds will use immunity or limited immunity, where you will be forced to testify under a “compulsion order.” if you refuse to testify while under a compulsion order, you can be held in contempt and put in jail for as long as you refuse to answer questions before a grand jury.

In exchange for that, the Feds will give you limited immunity. Not that you won’t get prosecuted, but that anything you say to federal law enforcement, the United States attorney’s office, and a grand jury will not be used against you in prosecuting you.

Federal Law Enforcement uses consultants and experts of every kind: forensic psychologists, fingerprint experts, drug recognition experts, crime labs, video surveillance, audio surveillance, and Title 3 wiretaps. Title 3 wiretaps are where the government agents intercept phone calls. In addition, they will frequently monitor and record phone calls coming from jails or other detention centers.

The federal use of undercover and confidential informants to infiltrate the group or a set of defenses is undoubtedly a well-known and commonly used technique. Almost any way they can investigate a person or a group of people they do.

If it’s done in the private sector, federal law enforcement can access it and try to acquire it.

How To Find Out If You Are A Target Or Part Of A Federal Investigation

People generally find out Federal Law Enforcement is investigating them due to a feeling they get. It’s interesting because you often sense, “Hey, something’s going on.” So it’s not uncommon for people to get a vibe or a sense that something is swirling around or going on around them.

The most common way to find out or confirm is to have federal law enforcement agents knock on your door and say, “We’d like to ask you some questions.”  Sometimes you receive a letter from the United States Attorney’s Office informing you that you are either a target of a federal investigation, or seen as a potential witness in a federal investigation.

In this situation, it becomes crucial to contact a lawyer and explore your options immediately. Although many people think, “If I go and I talk to them, maybe this will go away.” That’s taking the denial approach to a federal investigation. Rarely does the United States Attorney’s office allow it to go that way.

So, once you get that letter, that knock on the door, or that phone call, it’s time to brace for the long haul because they are not going to go away and disappear very easily.

When To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney In A Federal Case

Hiring a federal criminal defense attorney is critically important if you know you’re under federal investigation. You should never wait until you’re arrested and have your initial appearance in federal court.

A federal criminal defense lawyer can impact many aspects of a federal investigation. Yes, we all watch TV and movies; we understand we have the right to remain silent and don’t have to talk to law enforcement. But it is important to always remind potential targets of an investigation – very few people help themselves by talking to law enforcement. Most people say something that incriminates them, and that is used against them in a court of law. A federal criminal defense attorney can prevent you from saying anything that could incriminate you by making statements that you shouldn’t be giving to federal law enforcement.

It’s essential to consult with a lawyer to decide whether you will talk to federal law enforcement or not. Is there anything to be gained by talking to them? Can you say anything to them that will help you improve your legal position, or will you only make statements that incriminate you? If you and your federal criminal lawyer agree that there is value in talking with the Feds and that you can help yourself, that lawyer must help you prepare how to say it and what to stress. It’s essential to have the help of a lawyer to get you ready for the interview with Federal Law Enforcement.

If you are a witness, your federal criminal defense lawyer can assure you that you are not being looked at as a target and that you stay a witness and don’t become a target, and they can do that using immunity. There are two types of immunity: transactional immunity and use immunity.

Transactional immunity is a promise that you will never be charged at all in connection with this investigation. This form of immunity is rarely, if ever, given by the federal government. But even use immunity can be extremely beneficial. Use immunity simply means that the Feds can’t and won’t use anything you say in an interview against you in any prosecution of you.

Unlike state cases, federal cases usually have a much more extended period where the prosecutor, the assistant United States Attorney, considers which charges and crimes the defendant will be charged with. During this period of time, there is an opportunity for a federal criminal lawyer to impact that charging decision, and yet one more reason the early involvement of a criminal defense attorney is essential.

Suppose it becomes inevitable that you will be charged with a crime. The involvement of a federal criminal defense attorney early in your case will put you in a position where you could voluntarily surrender yourself in court, get interviewed by pretrial services, and make a voluntary appearance at an initial appearance. This voluntarily surrendering yourself could allow your lawyer to secure pretrial release for you (instead of pre-trial detention), and make the beginning of the case against you a far smoother transition. This way, you could be out on bond because you have been cooperative and have a lawyer acting as a liaison between you, law enforcement, and the US Attorney’s office. So, for all those reasons, it’s crucial to get someone involved as soon as possible.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Federal Criminal Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with being represented by an experienced professional, qualified to do the job.

For more information on Investigative Tools & Techniques Used By Federal Agents, a free initial consultation is your next step. Then, get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (248) 509-0056 today.

Mark Satawa

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session
(248) 509-0056